Brush your teeth


This is how I found my 15 month old son one evening last week.  He used a chair to climb onto the bathroom vanity, sat himself in the sink, picked up his 5-year-old brother’s Darth Vader toothbrush and proceeded to brush his 4 teeth.  Obviously I’ve got some teaching to do for him to better understand how to brush his teeth but he’s got an interest, and that’s a good start because oral hygiene is very important.

Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body?

Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.  Poor oral health can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, cause complications during pregnancy and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. For example:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.

Scheduling a regular dental check up isn’t easy for everyone.  When GVMH conducted our Community Health Needs Assessment earlier in the year we found that There are many children in our community who do not have access to dental care but there is a new service that should address the need.  Compass Health Wellness will soon be providing dental services in Clinton to anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

Good oral hygiene is important and access to care will soon be less of an issue to children in Clinton.

FYI – my 15 month old son is the proud new owner of a Darth Vader electric toothbrush because his 5-year-old brother happened to see it in his mouth and now wants nothing to do with it…

FYI # 2 – thank goodness for spell check, I spelled “hygiene” wrong every time I typed it!


About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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