Luke celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month

Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Devante Williams

Airmen from the 56th Dental Squadron show children how to properly brush their teeth during their visit to the base library at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 15, 2017.The 56th Dental Squadron is celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month and wants to educate parents on how to care for their children’s teeth.

Brush, floss, rinse and repeat.

Oral hygiene is an essential part of our overall health. With children’s teeth being especially susceptible to damage, it’s important to teach good dental health habits to children they will maintain into their adult lives.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and the 56th Dental Squadron Airmen at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., are celebrating by visiting the base Library, Child Development Center and Luke Elementary School to educate children, teachers and caregivers on proper dental hygiene.

This year’s emphasis is “Brush Your Teeth with Fluoride Toothpaste and Clean Your Teeth for a Healthy Smile.”

“Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease of children ages 6 to 19 and are largely preventable,” said Capt. Lucas Kim, 56th DS dentist. “They lead to hours of missed school and less than comfortable experiences with a dentist.”

Children’s Dental Health Day was first observed on Feb. 3, 1941, but it wasn’t until 1981 that the American Dental Association House of Delegates extended it from a day to a month-long observance.

This year, the ADA celebrates the 77th year of National Children’s Dental Health Month. The 56th DS has scheduled events throughout to promote healthy dental goals.

 “Our goal is to teach children how to brush their teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to remove all plaque,” said Tech. Sgt. Dilcia Kammermeyer, 56th DS dental hygienist. “We also want children to choose healthy snacks versus non-healthy snacks.”

The ultimate goal is for children to begin good oral habits and build healthy smiles into adulthood, Kammermeyer explained.

“Good oral hygiene habits can go a long way in helping children develop a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums,” Kim said. “There are steps for parents to take to ensure their kids get started on the right path to great oral health. Brushing and flossing together create solid habits, and don’t skip your kid’s yearly dental visits. Prevention is the best method to help kids create healthy smiles.”

For more information or questions regarding National Children’s Dental Health Month or oral hygiene, call the 56th DS at 623-856-2273.

Scheduled events by the 56th DS are as follows:

– Dental health story time at the Luke Air Force Base Library on Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m.
– Dental health stations at the Luke Child Development Center on Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.