February is National Children's Dental Health Month! During the entire month of February, the American Dental Association (ADA) honors and recognizes dental professionals and all who are passionate about children's healthcare. Take this time to increase awareness about pediatric dental hygiene – and find out how you can best support your child's dental care.
How to Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this February
The ADA's Children's Dental Health Day was first celebrated on February 8, 1949. It became a month-long commemoration in 1981. 40 years later, children's dental health continues to be promoted throughout February for National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM). Celebrating children's oral health awareness is incredibly important for the community. Tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease. Continuing educational programs and prevention awareness will help motivate more parents and other adults to recognize the seriousness of children's dental disease.
NCDHM raises awareness of the importance of teaching children good oral habits early to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. 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
- Preventing crowded teeth
- Healthy gums in later years
Keeping up with daily oral care and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for an oral examination and professional cleanings are steps you can take towards a happier and healthier mouth! Setting the foundation for your child earlier in life will set your child up for success in the future.
Making an appointment at the dentist is one of the best ways to celebrate February's theme. The more time they spend with their dental professionals, the more comfortable they'll be when they visit. It is encouraged for children to have regular cleanings every 6 months. If you schedule an appointment in February, your child's second appointment will fall just-in-time before back-to-school in August.
Did you know that toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, as frayed bristles decrease their effectiveness? Get kids excited about their regular hygiene routine by letting them select toothbrushes with their favorite characters and choose toothpaste that they like. NCDHM is an excellent time to toss out old toothbrushes and replace them with new ones.
If your kids tend to brush their teeth unattended, take time this month to check-in on their brushing habits. Checking in with your kids and offering helpful tips and tricks will keep their teeth looking great and healthy.
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.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.