Tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease, can affect overall health.
Chapel Hill, NC – UNC Chapel Hill’s Go NAPSACC (GNS) announces an addition to its online program to help child care providers promote children’s health. In a partnership with experts in public health and pediatric dentistry, the team takes aim at one of the most common chronic diseases in young children: tooth decay. Tooth decay is harmful to children’s health, wellbeing, and ability to learn. With the newly created Oral Health tools, Go NAPSACC can now help child care programs tackle this widespread, but preventable disease.
Go NAPSACC has a decade of experience improving the care of children in early childhood education. GNS was originally developed by a team of UNC-Chapel Hill researchers in partnership with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Experts in nutrition and pediatric dentistry from both of these organizations came together to develop the new oral health tools. These tools will help ECE programs offer tooth brushing with appropriate fluoride toothpaste, serve fewer sugary foods and beverages, and provide more oral health education to children and families. Go NAPSACC is available to ECE programs in NC and five other states.
Proper dental care and healthy eating habits are critical to early childhood health. Unfortunately, one in five children aged 2 to 5 years have cavities, and almost half of these go untreated. “It is essential that all families with young children learn healthy dental habits,” says Dr. Gary Rozier, DDS, Research Professor with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Our past work has shown the important role that child care providers can play in supporting children’s oral health. With Go NAPSACC, the hope is to reach more child care programs across the state and nation.”
Interested child care providers can find the Oral Health and other self assessments at www.gonapsacc.org/resources/nap-sacc-materials
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About Go NAPSACC: gonapsacc.org is an easy-to-use online toolkit for early care and education programs interested in building healthy eating and physical activity habits in children. Go NAPSACC is based on a set of best practices that stem from the latest research and guidelines in the field. The project is based at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, a Prevention Research Center funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Programs use Go NAPSACC to improve their practices, policies, and environments and meet these best practices. gonapsacc.org has been made possible through support from the BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation (bcbsncfoundation.org).
Ellie Morris, Manager of Outreach & Education