A #CavityFreeFuture For Our Kids

Did you know that almost 90% of Filipinos have cavities?  Did you also know that non-communicable diseases are linked to oral health (Read more mayoclinic.org)?

These are what I learned in the Colgate #CavityFreeFuture event.  I used to be a brand manager of a toothbrush brand I remember that in the Philippines, sales of toothbrushes averaged 1 piece per household per year.  In a recent Rappler event #2030Now, they also cited that there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the Philippines.  Alarming facts right there!

So it’s nice to know that the DOH, the UP College of Dentistry and private corporations like Colgate Palmolive, are working together to address oral health.  One of the things they’re working on is to educate kids in public schools about overall health — handwashing and oral health — and their studies have shown dramatic results.  The amazing thing is – it only takes P25 per child per year to run this program.  This is something I am definitely interested in supporting with donations or spreading information.

In line with these efforts, Colgate runs the Bright Smiles Bright Futures Program which is part of the curriculum in 100% of public schools.  The global vision of the program is to reach 1 billion kids worldwide by 2020.  It is a laudable effort.

From the event, I also learned that the biggest cause of cavities are sugar acids that come from all kinds of food.  Here’s our menu from that night and it was pretty weird that they served us cheesecake and veggies as appetizers but they were apparently trying to prove a point — sugar acids are present in sweets, carbs, veggies, almost everything.

Sugar acids = Cavities = Overall Unhealth — yes, I’m scaring myself again but it is a little scary.  So I have tried to simplify the ways to achieve a #CavityFreeFuture for my kids.  Here they are:

1. Talk about the importance of oral health.  Buy books that have oral health topics.  This book of M is part of her home reading program and it reinforces how essential oral health is (and since it’s from school, it’s more believable!).

2. Supervise their toothbrushing at least twice a day.  Make it fun.  Sing songs (2x the happy birthday song).  Do the last brush over yourself to check.  Here’s N in her Little Red Riding Hood cape — she looks like a Super Colgate character.

3. Floss!!!

4. Bring them to a non-threatening pedia dentist religiously 2x a year.  We do it during sem break and summer.  Our pedia-dentist is Dr. Eric Hernandez in St. Lukes Global.  The girls love him and are not scared of going to him at all.  He gives them tokens and stickers after the visit too.

Here’s N at Dr. eric’s clinic and she is saying this is a drawing of him.

Dr. Eric Hernandez

(02) 577 1936

5. Use a fluoride toothpaste that doesn’t have triclosan.  The new Colgate has sugar acid neutralizers that helps deactivate the sugar acids in plaque.  The sugar acids are the ones that cause cavities.

For kids, a smear of toothpaste is enough on their toothbrush.  Dr. Eric’s advice – just spit the excess toothpaste and don’t rinse.

6. Take lots of selfies to admire your cavity-free teeth.  Yup, she did this herself.



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DIY Olaf-Stylized Costume

Yesterday, I posted about working together with M on her Olivia Lego Friends costume.  Today, I post about how we did N’s Olaf-stylized costume.  Although I wanted to get away from the Frozen madness, I stayed with it because (you can’t fight it!!) I didn’t have time to think of anything else.  I wanted her to be a Lego block but when I showed her the Pinterest peg, she refused.  So here’s our process on doing her Olaf outfit together:

1. I involved her in the concept. I showed her Olaf pegs.  M and I wanted her to choose the one on the left.  Guess which one she chose?  (NOTE: When doing this, DO NOT show the whole set of google images to your toddler.  Show only the ones you have pre-chosen.)  The peg on the right is still super cute.  It’s just that I wanted it to be more costume-y.

olaf pegs

2. We went to Carolina’s on the 2F of SM Mega Mall B and bought 1/2 yards each of felt cloth in orange, brown and black.

3. We looked for a plain white top and a tutu-like skirt (the thing that attracted to her to the peg in the first place).  I couldn’t find a white tutu all over Mega Mall then when I got home, ate reminded me she had one so I dug it out of her old clothes storage.

4. I measured the length of the blank space for her top.  I Googled an Olaf image, face along with the buttons and arms, resized it to fit the space and printed.

5. I used the print out as a guide to cut the head of Olaf and buttons from the black felt, the arms from the brown, the nose from the orange.  Ate helped me cut the print out, pin it to the cloth and cut some parts.

6. Then I sewed all of the pieces onto the garments.  N helped by saying “aw, it’s cute” all throughout the process.

7. Because Olaf’s head needed to be tilted to fit, Ate and I decided to tilt the buttons as well on the skirt.  We also placed his arms by her hips.

8. N chose her accessories - a 7yo  pumpkin bucket and her Anna doll from The Wagon Shop (@TheWagonShop).

For our Oreo Halloween Trip and Treats party in Tagaytay, she wore the costume and actually won a prize (I think the criteria was cuteness and had nothing to do with the costume haha).  Here she is munching on a piece of ghost chocolate, drinking milk from a mummy jar, and winning Oreos from the Oreo Marketing team – Mari and Princess.

Her costume amounted to a total of P250 in cloth, printer ink, needle and thread as well as about 6 hours between me and her ate working on it together.  That’s what I’ll probably look forward to every Halloween — working on their costumes together with them — thinking of the concept, negotiating, scavenger hunting, and creating — with my two precious girls.

Nothing could be better.

… And of course, there’s enjoying the treats together too.

Photo by Stanley Ong. See more photos from our Oreo Halloween Trip and Treats event on my post this week.

A happy Halloween to all you DIY costume moms!  We deserve our own treats after every Halloween.


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