Oral & Vision Health Blog

Children's Dental Health Month: Encourage Good Habits

It’s February, and that means it’s time to focus on your children's dental health! While it’s important all year, the American Dental Association sponsors Children's Dental Health Month annually to help spread the importance of starting your kids off on a lifetime of healthy habits.

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Here are some facts that help showcase how important it is for you to encourage good habits for your children:

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 5 children in America has untreated tooth decay.

  • TIP: Make brushing their teeth a fun activity! Set up a calendar where each day they get to put a sticker on it to show how many days they brushed twice a day. Reward them at the end of the month for completing every day’s goal of brushing.

The most chronic childhood disease isn’t asthma or obesity—it’s tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says it's five times more common than asthma and happens four times more often than early-childhood obesity. Tooth decay also occurs 20 times more often than diabetes.

  • TIP: Don’t forget about flossing! The earlier your children start, the earlier it will become a good habit they will sorely miss if they skip a day! Use Children’s Dental Health Month to show the importance of brushing and flossing.

Dental problems affect so many children each school year that students lose 51 million school hours due to dental-related illnesses. It starts early: one out of every four children stepping into a kindergarten class has never been to the dentist.

  • TIP: Make a trip to the dentist a fun experience. Making healthy choices should be celebrated, not something feared. Make sure you frame the visit positively.

Brushing and flossing regularly along with regular cleanings at the dentist will help keep tooth decay at bay through childhood. The benefits of good oral health will then carry on into adulthood. Studies show oral health impacts overall health.

Having healthy teeth as a child and continuing it as an adult can help lower your risk of life threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Your little ones’ smiles are worth the extra effort and attention…all year round!

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