February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) hosted by the American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation. This health observance month brings the dental industry together with educators, parents and teachers to promote the benefits of good oral health among children and to help highlight that dental health and hygiene practices should start early. To help with this goal, the ADA has created a program guide that gives coordinators, dental societies, teachers and parents the resources to achieve the goal of encouraging healthy mouth care among children. The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample NCDHM proclamation and more.
2017 NCDHM Campaign Slogan: “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile”
This year’s campaign slogan is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” Fluoride has been shown to be effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Over 70 years of scientific research has shown that fluoride is effective and safe. By drinking tap water, Americans can benefit from cavity protection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
In addition to promoting fluoridated water, this year’s NCDHM seeks to promote:
CONSUMING HEALTHY DRINKS
Children can become thirsty many times throughout the day due to high levels of activity. It’s important that children satisfy their thirst with healthy drinks. Sugary drinks, such as sodas and juices, can cause cavities. Teeth can be damaged because of constant sipping. Plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, can build up and make acid that attacks the enamel. The acid can attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after consuming sugary foods or drinks. Instead, the ADA encourages drinking tap water or other drinks that are low in sugar.
CHOOSING HEALTHY SNACKS
When you’re hungry between meals, it’s smart to choose healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables. During NCDHM, dentists are encouraging awareness about avoiding sweets, cookies and candy and enjoying foods that are healthy and good for your teeth.
FOLLOWING THE 2 MINUTES 2 TIMES RULE
The ADA recommends brushing for 2 minutes 2 times a day for a healthy smile. Reminding children of this rule is a key step toward encouraging healthy mouth care. Brushing their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes when they get up in the morning and again before they go to bed at night will give children a sparkling smile.
History of NCDHM
NCDHM began in February 1941. It has grown to a nationwide program from a two-city program over 70 years ago. The messages of the month reach millions of people across the U.S. Locally, communities will usually involve contests, health fairs, free dental screening, museum exhibits and more. The goal of establishing good dental health habits at an early age is focused on during NCDHM and dental practitioners everywhere focus on achieving this goal together.
Beginning good dental health practices at an early age helps to promote a lifelong commitment to good dental hygiene. Children’s teeth are necessary for ensuring strong speech development, jaw alignment as well as the proper chewing and consumption of food. Taking great care of children’s teeth and teaching them lessons about healthy mouth care are causes everyone can support to give children beautiful smiles for years to come.
Tru Family Dental welcomes your entire family and encourages you to use Children’s Dental Health Month as reminder on the importance of caring for your child’s teeth and to take time to schedule your child’s dental check up today.
Posted In: Pediatric Dental Care