National Children’s Dental Health Month Spotlight

healthy snack and healthy smile

As a child’s dentist in Flower Mound, February is an important month for us. That’s because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

From the American Dental Association’s website:

“This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.”

This year’s theme is “Sugar Wars.” If you’d like to participate in NCDHM, you can visit this webpage on the ADA’s site for fun games, activities, and educational material.

National Children's Dental Health Month

Good oral hygiene and dental care are important; especially for children. When they keep their teeth healthy at a young age, they’ll be inspired to take good care of themselves for the rest of their lives. Plus, every kid knows the value of a winning smile.

But if the need for a good smile is universal, why do we need a month dedicated to children’s dental health?

The sad truth is, many kids don’t receive the dental care they need. Even with parents’ best intentions, dental care sometimes falls by the wayside. This important national health observance reminds us why dental care and oral hygiene are so important for kids.

The Facts

The picture becomes clearer when we look at some readily available facts. Many people consider the dentist as an afterthought. If your child’s not in pain, then there’s no problem, right?

Sadly, that’s not always the case.

Here are the numbers:

  • Roughly one in five (20%) children between ages 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • One in seven (13%) adolescents between ages 12-19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. – CDC
  • 42% of children between ages 2-11 have had tooth decay in their primary teeth. – The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  • Childhood tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness. – The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF)
  • Childhood tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. – NCOHF

Childhood tooth decay can result in more than just a little bit of pain in the mouth, too. Left untreated, it can cause malnourishment, bacterial infections, and impediments to eating, speaking, and learning.

That’s why we use the month of February to educate parents about children’s dental health. It’s vitally important to both a child’s future and present.

The Solutions

The good news about childhood tooth decay is that it’s preventable. That’s why we observe National Children’s Dental Health Month in the first place– because we know awareness leads to prevention, and prevention makes all the difference in the world.

During your child’s daily routine, make sure they always:

  • brush
  • floss
  • rinse
  • eating healthy snacks instead of sugary snacks

The ADA’s fun games and educational materials will help you make dental care something your child enjoys, if they don’t already. If you’re interested in National Children’s Dental Health Month at all, it’s a great place to start.

We also offer several services and products that will go even further to prevent childhood tooth decay:

  • Fluoride Varnish – Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride application that prevents tooth decay. When used in conjunction with fluoridated toothpaste, it’s a real powerhouse.
  • Drufomat Mouthguards – If your child plays sports, a custom mouthguard is a must. Mouthguards protect their winning smile, but they also help prevent serious mouth and head injuries. There should be no contact sports without mouthguards.
  • Sealants – Dental sealants are a treatment we place over the pits and fissures in normal, everyday teeth. They bond to the teeth and create a surface that’s easier to clean. They go a long way in tooth decay prevention, especially in at-risk children.
  • PerioSciences Products – PerioSciences produces a topically applied dental gel that uses antioxidants and essential oils to freshen breath and soothe the mouth’s soft tissue. Our gums and other soft tissue are just as important as our teeth, and PerioSciences’ AO ProVantage is a healthy way to clean and protect soft tissue.

Awareness is so important when it comes to our children’s continued dental health. If we keep talking about it, things can only get better. Know that as a child’s dentist in Flower Mound, we appreciate everything you do for your children.

We’re proud to participate in National Children’s Dental Health Month. With proper care, education, and prevention, we can make sure our children have healthy, happy mouths and beautiful smiles.

 

A Healthy Mouth is a Happy Mouth!

~Dr. Duffy

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