United Concordia, Philadelphia Zoo partner to improve kids' oral health

United Concordia Dental and the Philadelphia Zoo have announced a three-year partnership to increase children's awareness of how oral health impacts full-body health.

"Today cavities have become one of the most common diseases of childhood," James Bramson, DDS, United Concordia's chief dental officer, stated in a press release. "They are now five times as common as asthma and seven times as common as hay fever in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

The partnership is a way to educate children about the important role the mouth can play in total body health for themselves and the zoo's animals, he added.

To further children's understanding of the oral-systemic health link, the zoo and United Concordia are using the dental wellness company's mobile app, Chomper Chums, to reward children who brush, floss, and rinse correctly. The app, available in the Apple App Store or Google Play, turns these daily oral health activities into a game by providing the children with "digital coins" they can use to buy food for an animal character of their choosing -- a lion, horse, alligator, hippopotamus, or kangaroo.

The healthier the food, the healthier their animal becomes. Children can earn a free ticket to visit the zoo by earning a set amount of coins equal to brushing, flossing, and rinsing two times per day for six weeks.

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