Ontario Dental Association

Ontario Dental Association

April 03, 2009 14:08 ET

Ontario Dental Association Helps Kids Give Tooth Decay the 'Brush Off' During Oral Health Month

50,000 Ontario children participate in Brush-a-mania

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 3, 2009) -

Editors Note: Photos for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

How do you get hundreds of kids to brush their teeth simultaneously? You make it enjoyable and fun with some help from Carlton the Bear and the Toronto Raptors' mascot.

The Ontario Dental Association and the Don Mills Rotarians teamed up again this year for Brush-a-mania, the signature event that kicks off Oral Health Month. Brush-a-mania is an event targeted at children aged four to 12 and emphasizes the importance of good oral health habits that appeals to them.

"Every year we start Oral Health Month with Brush-a-mania but this time, the focus on children has never been more important," said Dr. Larry Levin, President of the ODA. "Last fall, we had a public service campaign about the transmissibility of childhood tooth decay. We want to extend the message and highlight the importance of instilling good oral health care in young children."

During Brush-a-mania, each participating school holds an assembly during the month of April, where an ODA member dentist and Rotarian is invited to provide the children with an interactive and entertaining presentation in proper dental care. Each assembly concludes with a 'Brush-Off', where all participants brush their teeth simultaneously for 3 minutes.

"Brush-a-mania is a great way to teach children the lifelong habits of brushing, flossing and regular checkups at the dentist," said David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Good oral health habits will benefit them throughout their life."

"Highlighting the importance of good oral health hygiene, along with encouraging our children to enjoy healthy snacks and sugar-free drinks is important to good health," said Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion. "Making healthy choices earlier in life carries through to adulthood."

Brush-a-mania was started nine years ago by the Rotary Club of Toronto - Don Mills and has already reached over 300,000 students across the province.

"Our purpose and focus in Rotary is to enhance the lives of others," said Vicki Wilson, President of the Don Mills Rotary Club. "Dental care and oral hygiene for children continues to be an area of focus for us at the Don Mills Rotary club."

Now in its ninth consecutive year, Brush-a-mania is an annual not-for-profit program designed to promote oral health and awareness among young children. Its purpose is to educate and motivate children and to bring together dentists, Rotarians, teachers and parents to create a celebration around proper dental care. In 2008, 170 schools and 55,000 students participated in Brush-a-mania.

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