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National Children's Dental Health Month

Children should be taught the importance of good dental hygiene at an early age.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. It is observed to raise awareness about the importance of teaching children of all ages that good dental hygiene can have a positive effect on your health starting when you are a young child and throughout your whole life.

National Children’s Dental Health Month started as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio in 1941. The American Dental Association (ADA) adopted the day in 1949 and the popularity of the event grew until it was made a month-long awareness program in 1981.

Tooth decay is considered a disease and is considered one of the most prevalent diseases around the world that, in most cases, can be prevented. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.

Parents are the most important teachers when it comes to educating and promoting healthy dental hygiene habits for their children. Brushing and flossing can be taught in the home, especially if the parent takes the time every day to brush and floss their own teeth and let their children see them doing it.

A good start for children at a young age can save thousands of dollars in dental procedures as they grow older. Filling cavities, extracting teeth, installing dentures, root canals, and other dental work is very expensive.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on dental care, yet millions of children in the United States alone don't see a dentist regularly as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Most dentists recommend that children have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year to help prevent cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness.

The mouth is a very important part of the body and taking care of it should be taken seriously. This includes your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks along with nerves, muscles, and bone structure.

Brushing, flossing, using mouth wash, visiting a dentist regularly, and avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks as much as possible are all ways to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other maladies of the mouth.

During the month of February, the American Dental Association, dentists and members of the dental hygiene profession, doctors, teachers, parents, children, healthcare providers, and other organizations chose to stand together and promote the benefits that are derived from good oral hygiene practices.

How can you help your child develop good oral hygiene practices?

1. Begin with a well-balanced diet and limit the amount of sugary products they eat.

2. Teach your child to brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time.

3. Teach your child how to floss.

4. Rinse with a mouth wash every day.

5. Take your child to see a dentist at least twice a year.


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