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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Posted on January 26, 2015 | in Dentistry for Kids | by

Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month.

The aim of Children’s Dental Health Month is to raise awareness about the importance of oral health for our kids. Take a look at this vintage Children’s Dental Health Week public service announcement from 1965; the technology may have changed, but the message remains…

Developing good dental hygiene habits when we are kids and keeping regular visits to the dentist helps our children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

The American Dental Association helps broadcast the optimal oral health for kids message during the entire month-long observance by bringing together dentists, hygienists, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.

Staggering Statistics for National Children’s Dental Health Month

Take a look at some of these children’s dental health statistics, is there at least one dental fact in there you might not have known?

Share with your social dental circles!

– Childhood tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
Gum disease is contagious, parents can transfer the bacteria in saliva to our kids by sharing spoons.
– According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses.
– Almost 50% of tooth decay remains untreated in low-income children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
– Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2–5 years and half of those aged 12–15 years.
– According to this recent CBS News article, children in the Los Angeles School District who had tooth pain were 4x more likely to have a grade point average below the median GPA of 2.8.

Despite these seemingly staggering dental health statistics, many children still do not visit the dentist. It’s not their fault, parents need to make dental health for children a priority…not video games!

8 Toothy Tips for National Children’s Dental Health Month

The most important preventive step against childhood periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits at an early age, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

Here are some basic preventive steps to help our children maintain optimal dental health:

1. Brush for two minutes, 2 times per day…with our kids.
2. Show them how to clean between teeth…FLOSS!
3. Limit sugary snacks & drinks between meals, eat healthy.
4. See the dentist regularly for family checkups, and ask them about sealants & fluoride.
5. Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth.
6. When the gaps between children’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.
7. Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits ourselves.
8. Check our child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

“Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” This National Children’s Dental Health Month

We invite you to participate in the “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” ADA initiative.

Download and share these National Children’s Dental Health Month Posters on Facebook & Twitter.

February Is National Children's Dental Health Month

Click the image to visit, the posters are available in both English and Spanish.
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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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