February is National Children’s Dental Month. The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors this movement to raise awareness about the importance of dental health for children.
What Is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM)?
NCDHM is a month-long national health observance that brings together thousands of dedicated educators, healthcare providers, and dental professionals (PERFECT TEETH included!) to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others.
This year, the campaign slogan is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.”
The ADA supplies information on making better beverage choices in the form of posters, PDFs, press releases, and coloring pages on their website. We love this year’s theme because we couldn’t agree more. Soda, juice, and other sugary drinks are enemy #1 to your teeth.
History of National Children’s Dental Health Month
- National Children’s Dental Health Month began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941.
- The ADA held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949.
- The single day observance became a week-long event in 1955.
- In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.
- Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program.Today, NCDHM messages reach thousands of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed services bases.
PERFECT TEETH and Children’s Dental Health
At PERFECT TEETH, we know good habits start early. Developing good habits at an early age helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Our dentists work with kids and their parents to build healthy habits. As your children grow, your PERFECT TEETH pediatric dentist will also give advice on healthy eating habits, sealants, tobacco use, and piercings. The PERFECT TEETH network also includes a number of pediatric dentists who have received additional training focusing specifically on treating children. Here are some of their dental tips for the young ones in your family.
10 Tips to Help Your Child Have a Healthy Smile
- Offer children water instead of soda or sweetened juice.
- Don’t put a baby to bed with a bottle.
- As the first birthday approaches, encourage your child to drink from a cup. Many training cups are essentially baby bottles in disguise. The child gets liquid by sucking on the cup, much like a baby bottle. Also, toddlers are often unsteady on their feet. Falling while drinking from a cup has the potential to injure the mouth.
- If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless – chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
- Floss daily (yes, even for kids).
- Help your kids develop good brushing techniques by brushing for them first, then allowing them to brush (or do their best to brush) after you.
- It should take about two minutes to brush teeth. There are apps that help keep the time and make teeth brushing fun. You could also use an ordinary kitchen timer or have your child brush the length of a few songs that you sing or play.
- Make sure your child wears a mouth guard when playing sports.
- If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
- And, of course, schedule regular dental visits.
Is it time for your child to see a dentist? February is a great time to do it! Contact a PERFECT TEETH dental office to schedule your appointment.