Fifteen hours of pure sunlight - that's what July is to your children. Fifteen hours of unadulterated play-time enhanced by the fantastical boom of regular fireworks displays, mounds of watermelon, liters of soda and gobs of other junk paid for dutifully with money from chores and summer work. July is also, of course, our month of independence. But did you know that we're not the only country that celebrates independence in July? There are several others as well, including Venezuela, Peru, Liberia, Laos, Belgium and Argentina. Sharing this little tidbit with your kids this July can be a fun way to get them thinking about the rest of the world while they're thinking about our own reason for celebration.
Our First President Brushed Every Day!
It's also a good time to get them thinking about all the junk they've been feeding themselves this summer, and what it might do to their teeth! George Washington serves as a good teacher here, given that he's the hero of the month. Even though what most of us remember about George Washington's teeth is that he had none, your children might benefit from understanding that our first President was very dutiful in taking care of his teeth, but lost out to the inadequacies of medicine at the time. Washington is known to have cleaned his teeth daily with "tooth powder" and had a total of nine dentists throughout his life. His problems were due to treatments with mercurous chloride when he had Malaria and Smallpox earlier in life. The chemical is destructive to teeth, and led to his need for the dentures we're all familiar with today. George was, however, a steadfast fan of oral care. Were he alive today, he’d likely have a marvelous set of pearly whites.
So, this Independence season, teach your kids a bit of history, have fun, and be certain they're brushing at least twice a day (like George!) - particularly with all the sweets they're likely to consume without your knowledge. Have a safe and happy 4th!