Your Children’s Oral Health Must Be a Priority
No matter the time of the year, dental hygiene should always be an important part of any family’s home. From parents to children, everyone should engage in proper oral hygiene. We’ve talked ad nauseam about the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily. By engaging in these healthy habits, you better protect yourself from gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, and more.
However, it can be very difficult to instill these oral care habits in young children. Many children don’t find flossing and brushing their teeth very exciting or fun. It just feels like a chore they don’t want to do. However, as parents, it is your responsibility to ensure that their teeth are properly taken care of to ensure they won’t need a root canal or another type of extraction later in life.
Many experts in dental care are aware of how important proper oral care is, but they also understand how difficult it can be for children to adopt these habits. That’s why National Children’s Dental Health Month was established and is celebrated every February. The goal of the month is to help children develop good oral health habits at a young age and visit their dentist regularly to ensure they have healthy teeth and gums throughout life.
Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas understands how important establishing healthy oral care habits at a young age is. We are here to help educate you and your children on the best ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy not just in National Children’s Dental Health Month, but year-round.
How It Began
National Children’s Dental Health Month is a joint project between the American Dental Association (ADA) and Crest Oral-B. To begin, a group of 26 dentists founded the American Dental Association in August 1859. They met in Niagara Falls, New York, to form a society of professional dentists to promote the standards of oral care and scientific research. Their first president was William Henry Atkinson, a Cleveland dentist and a pioneer in the world of dental surgery.
Since its inception, there have been 157 ADA presidents. All of these individuals were some of the brightest minds in the world of dentistry, providing their skills and knowledge to their fellow peers.
Almost a hundred years after its creation, the ADA observed the first-ever National Children’s Health Day on February 8, 1949. However, just six years later, this day-long event stretched to include the entire week. Eventually, in 1981, they decided to dedicate the entire month of February to children’s dental health.
Now, in National Children’s Dental Health Month, dental care professionals, caregivers, teachers, parents, and more come together to encourage young children to get a jumpstart on their oral health. Throughout the month, information about the importance of taking care of your teeth, along with the proper ways to do so, is spread.
National Children’s Dental Health Month 2020
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening your teeth. You can naturally find fluoride in various foods and water. Every day, your teeth lose minerals from their enamel. Fluoride helps build it back up and protect your teeth from acid attacks caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugar. Over the years, the mineral was strategically added to drinking water throughout the world and can now be found in most community water.
In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city in the entire world to fully implement the use of fluoride in its drinking water. Research has shown there is no reason to worry about the fluoridation of public drinking water. It’s also safe and effective, preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even named community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Since 2020 is the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation, the ADA would like to honor both this milestone and National Children’s Dental Health Month by making the slogan for the month “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!” Drinking fluoridated water is a useful way to protect the health of your children’s teeth.
How to Celebrate
Throughout the entire month of February, dental care experts will provide plenty of information about the importance of proper oral hygiene along with some of the best practices to teach your young children to ensure that their teeth, gums, tongue, and overall health of their mouth are protected. Some ways to celebrate this month include:
- Brush and floss your teeth. One of the most important aspects of protecting the health of your child’s teeth is making sure they brush at least twice a day. You need to make sure they consistently brush their teeth in the morning and before bed. Young children learn best by following your example, so consider brushing your teeth together at first to build a strong habit. The same goes for flossing at the end of the day.
- Regularly visit your dentist. Some oral conditions aren’t easy to spot at first glance. By the time they make themselves fully known, many will have already progressed. The best way to stay on top of any oral issues is by visiting your dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings. Not only will your dentist thoroughly clean your teeth, but they will also be able to spot any threatening diseases or conditions.
- Drink fluoride tap water. As we previously mentioned, fluoride helps protect your teeth from tooth decay. In some instances, it can even reverse the damage. You can celebrate National Children’s Health Month and the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation by encouraging the drinking of tap water.
- Spread information. Another fun way to celebrate this month is by visiting the ADA’s site to acquire information about children’s oral hygiene. You can then spread this information at your child’s school, with other parents at work, and even at home.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Appointment
National Children’s Dental Health Month serves as a time that parents, caregivers, oral experts, and more spread information about oral hygiene and the best ways to keep your children’s teeth healthy. To learn how you can celebrate or to schedule your child’s next dental cleaning, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas today.