Working Together to Inspire Tooth Healthy Policies in Early Childhood Programs

When organizations join forces, they have a greater impact than working alone. That’s why Healthy Child Care Colorado and Denver Environmental Health, part of the regional Healthy Beverage Partnership, teamed up to bring tooth healthy policies and practices to early childhood programs in Denver.

This is important because it helps children establish healthy habits at a young age. The Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles program aims to:

  • Increase the amount of water and decrease the amount of juice or other sugary drinks children drink each day.
  • Educate parents about the importance of baby teeth.
  • Bring tooth brushing into the program’s daily routine.

A Healthy Smiles Champion is also matched with the organization to support participants. Champions have taken Cavity Free Kids and other trainings that prepare them to better support children’s oral health.

Megan Harms from the City & County of Denver’s Environmental Health Department, supported three early childhood programs as a Healthy Smiles Champion, She helped them understand their role in supporting oral health with the children and families.

The programs, children, and families welcomed Megan’s efforts. Jennifer, who owns and operates a licensed family childcare home, went above and beyond. She began daily tooth brushing with the children and includes an interactive activity. The children find it exciting to brush the oversized teeth, read books and play with the ‘yucky germs’! With Megan’s support, Jennifer felt empowered to share the importance of water, baby teeth and tooth healthy foods with families.

Early childhood professionals help children develop healthy habits that last a lifetime! If you are interested in learning more, please join our Healthy Smiles Summit on February 24th.

The Summit will focus on the 5 Basics of Oral Health:

Participants learn about the importance of developing oral health habits and take part in hands-on activities. They explore ways to promote oral health through conversation, songs, books, and learning center activities.

Early childhood professionals can register for free and will receive a Tooth Healthy Toolbox and training certificate.

For more information visit Healthy Child Care Colorado or contact Kim Wolff, Professional Development Specialist at Healthy Child Care Colorado at kwolff@qualistar.org.