February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
Tooth decay is a highly preventable condition, yet it is the second most common health condition in the United States, ranking just behind the common cold. Among children between the ages of 2 and 11, more than 40 percent have had a cavity in their primary teeth, while two-thirds of teens have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. Although overall rates of tooth decay have declined over the last ten years, rates have increased among preschool children. To address this issue, the American Dental Association (ADA) began National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to emphasize year-round care of the teeth, gums, and mouth for children.
National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month
National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month (NCDHM) began as a recognized day in 1941 and expanded in 1981 to a month-long awareness campaign celebrated each February. The American Dental Association (ADA) hopes that the message will resonate with parents and children throughout the year. Past programs have been successful in bringing awareness of the importance of proper dental care and good oral hygiene to millions of American communities.
To ensure children achieve and maintain good dental care habits for a lifetime, education and awareness must begin early. Parents may begin teaching their children about dental care habits before their first tooth has emerged. This includes proper brushing techniques, familiarity with flossing, and scheduling routine visits with family dentistry experts.
The ADA began the NCDHM to help parents, teachers, and dental care professionals target the message of proper dental care to children, creating whimsical characters, exciting events, and engaging activities. The ADA provides online resources, including planning guides, booklets, videos, and other materials to assist with dental health presentations.
The 2014 NCDHM campaign centers on the slogan, “Join the super smile team.” This year’s featured characters are the McGrinn twins: Flossy and Bucky and their faithful friends, Den and Gen Smiley and, of course, their dog, K-9. Together, these superheroes of dental hygiene fight for a winning smile.
Give Kids a Smile Day
Among the events held to promote awareness of oral hygiene among children is Give Kids a Smile Day. In 2003, the ADA began Give Kids a Smile to help dental professionals reach out to the community and offer dental services to underprivileged children. Dental care professionals and other oral health teams dedicated to children’s health volunteer their time and services to assist young children who would not otherwise receive dental screenings, treatments and oral care education. Initially, Give Kids a Smile Day began as a single-day event during the month of February, but today it serves multiple cities nationwide and has become a year-round occurrence. Every year in the United States, the program is a part of more than 1500 events served by 40,000 volunteers who benefit more than 450,000 children.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Warren, call Gentle Dental of Warren today at (586) 933-5516 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Warren. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Warren, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Warren.