Tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease. Continuing education programs and prevention awareness will help motivate more parents and other adults to recognize the seriousness of children’s dental disease.
Parents or caregivers are essential and can promote children’s dental health this month and throughout the year. Support children’s dental health by working with dental professionals on specific topics such as tooth decay, getting your child familiar with their dentist’s office, and preventing crowded teeth and healthy gums in later years.
Brush Up on Children’s Dental Health fun facts
- Tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease affecting children and is on the rise, but it is largely preventable (2✔ ✔Trusted Source
Children’s Dental Health
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- The rate of tooth decay in the baby teeth of children aged 2 to 5 years increased by nearly 17% from 1988-1994 to 1999-2004.
- By age 5, about 60% of children will be affected by tooth decay.
- Children with oral health problems are three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain than children with no oral health problems.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends taking a child for their first dental visit by the age of 1.5 years.
- Delaying dental care until age 2 or 3 can harm a child’s oral health.
- 40% of parents and caregivers surveyed are delaying their child’s first visit until after age 2.6 years.
February Focus: “Brush, Floss, Smile!”
The 2023 theme of National Children’s Dental Health Month, “Brush, Floss, Smile!” helps both kids and caregivers learn just how important it is for kids to brush their teeth regularly as well as floss in between every tooth (3✔ ✔Trusted Source
National Children’s Dental Health Month
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Brushing and flossing tiny teeth are important, but your dentist will encourage you to make sure your little ones are doing them correctly. Developing proper techniques and a solid routine will help children throughout their lives.
Kids and adults should brush their teeth twice a day, once when they wake up in the morning and once before bed at night. The proper brushing technique involves placing the toothbrush against the gum line at a 45-degree angle and then gently scrubbing the teeth’s surface using small circles while the brush is in contact with the gums.
You should also brush your tongue from front to back. A thorough brushing should take about two minutes. As with brushing, kids should start flossing whenever they have two teeth that touch each other. But flossing requires a specific technique, and it can be hard for kids.
The best way to floss is to gently wiggle the floss in between each tooth and curve it up under the gums. You can try traditional floss, but you may have more success with a floss pick. While brushing and flossing are crucial for all smiles, maintaining visits to your dentist is also necessary.
How to Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month?
Spread the Word
: The American Dental Association (ADA) and Crest + Oral B provide a comprehensive list of ways to publicize National Children’s Dental Health Month. Parents might want to send a letter to the editor of their local newspaper or organize an event at their local elementary schools.
Work on Arts and Crafts Projects
: The ADA website (ada.org) has lots of fun things to do regarding National Children’s Dental Health Month. You can even download puzzles and coloring pages for the kids directly from the site (4✔ ✔Trusted Source
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
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Brush and Floss Together
: Make brushing and flossing a regular part of your daily activities with your children. After all, kids learn best when they have an adult to show them the right way.
National Children’s Dental Health Month is a great time to learn about and promote good oral hygiene habits with your family. Keep up with checkups, treat the family with new toothbrushes, and ensure your child knows how to clean their teeth properly. Your whole family will know how important dental health is to their overall health. Setting the foundation for your child earlier in life will set your child up for success in the future.
- A National Children’s Dental Health Month Letter from AAPD President Dr. Donly – (https://www.aapd.org/about/about-aapd/news-room/latest-news/a-national-childrens-dental-health-month-letter-from-aapd-president-dr.-donly/)
- Children’s Dental Health – (https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/features/childrens-dental-health.html)
- National Children’s Dental Health Month – (https://www.gdha.org/national-children-s-dental-health-m)
- February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – (https://www.ada.org/resources/community-initiatives/national-childrens-dental-health-month)