Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases among children, and has the potential to affect them in a variety of ways for the rest of their lives. Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable, so the American Dental Association sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month each February to bring awareness to parents, children, teachers, and caregivers about the importance of good oral hygiene and how to achieve it.
The month-long observance of children's dental health brings together dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health habits. The 2019 campaign slogan is "Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile". The awareness color for Dental Health is (appropriately) white.
When children develop good oral hygiene habits at a young age, the practices typically stay with them throughout their lives. Healthy teeth and gums are the result of twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, and regularly scheduled dental check-ups. Cavity prevention can also be achieved by drinking water with fluoride and by utilizing dental sealants when necessary.
One way to encourage children to brush and floss regularly is to show them how to do it correctly, and to make it fun. Let them choose their own toothbrush, and sing or play a favorite two-minute song for them to use as a timer. Offer rewards for good dental check-ups!
Other ways to protect your children's teeth include offering healthy snacks at home, with more fruits and veggies and fewer chips, ice creams, and candies. Don't offer soda pop in your home; encourage your family to drink water, milk, and sugar-free juice. Your dentist can offer suggestions to best fit your family's needs.
The American Dental Association offers free online resources that can help you teach your children about good dental health. Visit www.ada.org for more information about National Children's Dental Health Month, or contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515