Executive Director George Reed wrote an article recently about the importance of dental care for children. His link to Kathy Higgins’ remarks brought our attention to the contradiction of spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on items that we “want” such as big musical concerts against the claim that we “don’t have the money to support those who need dental care.”
Issues including education, socioeconomic status, and other social determinants mentioned in Kathy’s article are powerful, but God has created ways to help us enjoy good health and even worked in a way to naturally get our teeth cleaned. Our eating habits are one of the direct causes of poor dental health — diets high in sugar and processed foods but with little vegetable and fruit intake. Actually, broccoli, apples, cauliflower, and carrots help to clean the teeth — God’s natural toothbrush. The crunchy vegetables also are helping your heart health among many other nutritional and cellular benefits. I think about eating these crunchy vegetables for this very reason. Here’s a website with additional information. This is not to discredit actually brushing your teeth or flossing, I’m just pointing out that preventive care for your body, eating fruits and vegetables, can also serve your teeth well.
And to speak to the social determinants that are associated with poor health, those of us who are able to reach out have a responsibility to provide healthy options to our neighbors. Why not donate a bag of apples to a family who is struggling or a bag of carrots along with something else? These fruits and vegetables are often favorites among children and adolescents for their crunchy and sweet flavors — and indirectly, you could be helping a much needed issue of dental care.
–Joy Williams, PHW Regional Consultant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for churches in NC. And continue to stay connected with PHW by liking us on Facebook.