Every year in February, dentists and children’s organizations across the states promote National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year the American Dental Association’s campaign slogan is “Brush Your Teeth with Fluoride Toothpaste and Clean Your Teeth for a Healthy Smile.” They are encouraging children to use fluoridated toothpaste, properly brushing and flossing to make an effective “Tooth Team.”
Dental cavities or caries is the most common chronic disease of children age 6 to 19 years. Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among older children. This leads to hours of missed school and less than comfortable experiences with a dentist for what is mostly preventable. To raise awareness and promote good oral health among children, thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and educators come together for this month-long national health observance.
Good oral hygiene habits can go a long way in helping children develop a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. For parents, there are some steps to take to ensure children get started on the right path to great oral health.
First, pediatric dentists recommend that a child’s first visit should be when the first tooth comes in, no later than age one or two. Second, limit the use of baby bottle feeding especially for long periods during sleep. This helps prevent early childhood cavities which is quite common among babies. Third, brush and floss together to help create solid habits. Lastly, don’t skip your child’s yearly dental visits. Prevention is the best method to help children create healthy smiles.
Luke NCDHM activities
• Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m. – Dental health storytime at the Luke Air Force Base Library
• Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. – Dental health stations at the Luke Child Development Center
For more information, call Tech. Sgt. Dilcia Kammermeyer at 623-856-3369.