February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and an important month for dental health! We use this month to bring awareness to a growing epidemic in today’s youth.
From the American Dental Association’s website:
“This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.”
This year’s theme is “Sugar Wars.” If you’d like to participate in NCDHM, you can visit this webpage on the ADA’s site for fun games, activities, and educational material.
Good oral hygiene and dental care are important; especially for children. When we teach our children how to properly take care of their teeth, they’ll be inspired to take good care of themselves for the rest of their lives.
The sad truth is, many kids don’t receive the dental care they need. Even with parents’ best intentions, dental care sometimes falls by the wayside. This important national health observance reminds us why dental care and oral hygiene are so important for kids.
Many people consider the dentist as an afterthought. If your child’s not in pain, then there’s no problem, right? Sadly, that’s not always the case.
- Roughly one in five (20%) children between ages 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- One in seven (13%) adolescents between ages 12-19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. – CDC
- 42% of children between ages 2-11 have had tooth decay in their primary teeth. – The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
- Childhood tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness. – The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF)
- Childhood tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. – NCOHF
Childhood tooth decay can result in more than just a cavity or two. If left untreated, it can cause malnourishment, bacterial infections, and impediments to eating, speaking, and learning.
The good news about childhood tooth decay is that it’s preventable. That’s why we observe National Children’s Dental Health Month in the first place– because we know awareness leads to prevention, and prevention makes all the difference in the world.
During your child’s daily routine, make sure they always:
- eating healthy snacks instead of sugary snacks
The ADA’s fun games and educational materials will help you make dental care something your child enjoys, if they don’t already. If you’re interested in National Children’s Dental Health Month at all, it’s a great place to start.
We also offer several services and products that will go even further to prevent childhood tooth decay:
- Fluoride Varnish – Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride application that prevents tooth decay. When used in conjunction with fluoridated toothpaste, it’s a real powerhouse.
- Mouthguards – If your child plays sports, a custom mouthguard is a must. Mouthguards protect their winning smile, but they also help prevent serious mouth and head injuries. There should be no contact sports without mouthguards.
- Sealants – Dental sealants are a treatment we place over the pits and fissures in normal, everyday teeth. They bond to the teeth and create a surface that’s easier to clean. They go a long way in tooth decay prevention, especially in at-risk children.
Awareness is important to our children’s dental health. We’re proud to participate in National Children’s Dental Health Month. With proper care, education, and prevention, we can make sure our children have healthy, happy mouths and beautiful smiles.
~Dr. Marea White