What is National Children’s Dental Health Month?
Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) puts on National Children’s Health Month to promote and educate the public about the importance of oral health for children. The slogan for 2021 is “Water, Nature’s Drink!”
Good oral health is critical for childrens’ overall health, and this month provides the perfect opportunity to draw attention to the dental issues facing today’s kids. With the help of health professionals, educators, caregivers, and parents, kids can learn the importance of maintaining good oral health and how to do it properly.
Why is Good Oral Health Important for Kids?
Unfortunately, tooth decay is incredibly common among America’s children. It’s one of the most common chronic diseases our children face, and it impacts their ability to eat, play, and learn. In fact, studies have shown that kids with poor oral health have lower grades and worse school attendance.
- 37% of Young Children and 58% of Adolescents Have Cavities (U.S.-wide)
- 14% of Young Children and 15% of Adolescents Have Untreated Tooth Decay (U.S.-wide)
- 66.8% of Texas 3rd Graders Have Cavities, 20% of Them Go Untreated
Dental & Oral Health Tips for Kids
We understand that it’s not always easy to get kids on board with their oral health. Between busy schedules and less than cooperative kiddos, the struggle is real. To help make things easier on you, we compiled a short guide for parents and some tips for making dental care fun!
Guide For Parents
Hey Parents! This month is the time to brush up on your oral care and share some tips with a kid (or kids!) in your life! Here are some great ways to help your kids embrace good oral care routines that will last their whole lives.
- Model good oral care habits and make it a family affair. Since you should brush twice per day, why not do it together in the morning and again before bed?
- Flossing once per day helps remove debris between teeth, so you may have to help younger kids reach some of those difficult areas.
- For babies, it’s important to wipe down their gums after feedings.
- Toddlers can start learning about oral care with your help, so start them early and work with them until they master proper brushing techniques.
- Schedule your child’s first visit around their 1st birthday, and make sure to follow up every six months.
- Watch what your kids eat and avoid too many sugary foods that can damage their teeth.
- Drink tap water for the fluoride benefits (plus it doesn’t contain harmful sugars or acids!).
- Use toothpaste with fluoride.
Making Dental Care Fun for Kids
Kids are more likely to follow through with proper dental care if it’s fun and exciting. While that sounds like an uphill battle, it may not be as difficult as you think.
- Let kids pick their own toothbrush with colors or characters they like.
- Read books and watch videos about their favorite characters visiting the dentist and having positive experiences.
- Make up songs or seek out kids’ tunes about dental care to entertain them while brushing for two full minutes.
- To encourage kids to stick with brushing and flossing, try using goal charts and offer small rewards for reaching goals.
- Make visits to the dentist fun and memorable with these tips and tricks.
Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month with Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics
This month there are many ways to celebrate with kids you care about. Download activity sheets, make up songs or posters, and definitely book your kid’s six-month check-up and professional teeth cleaning! It’s also a great time to book that braces consult you’ve been meaning to schedule.
Come celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month with us! We’ve got some fun activities for the kids, like slime and sending letters to the Tooth Fairy. Book an appointment at the office nearest you.