It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month!
The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health month every February. Dental professionals nationwide observe this month in particular to increase awareness and promote healthy dental habits. Although largely preventable, tooth decay continues to be the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults.
We know that it is important to take good care of our children’s teeth. We also know that convincing our children to take care of their teeth can be quite a struggle! It is sometimes (or always) difficult to engage children in daily dental chores. Ever wonder whether it’s worth all the fuss to care for teeth that will soon fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth?
Yes…it’s worth all the fuss and struggles! Primary (baby) teeth matter! They help children speak more quickly and clearly, help children chew food easily and properly, hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth, and set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
We can all help children have healthy smiles!
- Encourage them to brush for two full minutes. It is important that children have supervision and assistance until they are of an age where they can do it properly and consistently.
- Remind them to brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
- Show them flossing can be fun! Purchase fun, colorful “floss picks” for them. Demonstrate and assist with flossing until children are able to floss properly.
- Be persistent and motivating! Healthy habits are difficult to form but worth the effort!
- Encourage children to eat a healthy diet. Healthy foods are not just good for your body but also your teeth. Besides avoiding sweets, starchy foods are also ones to stay away from because those foods tend to stick to the teeth and turn into acid that decays the teeth.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Visiting your dentist twice a year is key to optimal oral health. Dental cleanings remove plaque and debris that regular brushing and flossing missed and the exams allow the dentist to check for any dental issues you may not have noticed.
Allow this month of February remind us of the importance of our oral hygiene routines and eating habits. Partner your homecare with regular dental visits to protect and improve your family’s oral health.