When you eat starchy foods, leftovers get into the pits and fissures and between your teeth. Chewing ‘hard’ after a meal displaces the lodged material. Moreover, it also promotes the production of saliva, which can also get into those hard to get places. Examples of hard food include foam strips impregnated of barium sulphate, non-cariogenic foods (such as nuts), and celery string.
Say what? It’s hard enough to hand out nuts at any school for fear of poisoning some allergic kiddie. And strips of barium sulphate? If kids don’t start tripping, their parents certainly will.
And you can’t seriously contemplate doing it at home either. Can you imagine introducing a reward system for your children: ‘son, if you do your violin lessons, I’ll give you celery string’. Why stop at celery string, why not feed them really small pebbles? ‘Crunch on these, son.’
But the emphasis o on education not handing out food. Poor bloody teachers are bombarded every day with requests by interest groups to gain access to the young kiddies. Our kids are certainly being educated, but not how to read and write.
If tooth decay is serious enough a health issue, most people would eventually learn of its importance and learn to floss a bit more.
Back of the envelope
- Cost: $100 000 plus reduced literacy levels
- Expected impact on average earnings: Unchanged
- Expected impact on economic growth: Unchanged
- Impact on incentives: No incentives for kiddies to do extra curricular work
- Impact on government spending: Slight increase of $100,000
- Impact on taxation: Slight increase of $100,000
- Winners: Dentists and nut sellers
- Losers: Kiddies no longer being able to read and write.