February is National Children’s Dental Hygiene Month

child smiling at dentist

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? This national month-long health observance is brought to you by the American Dental Association (ADA). It provides a platform for thousands of dental professionals, healthcare providers, and healthcare educators to promote the benefits of good dental hygiene for children. 

Every year, some particular aspect of children’s dental health is emphasized, and 2020 is no exception. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the decision to add fluoride to community water supplies. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. To honor the success of this important program, the slogan is:

Fluoride in your water prevents cavities! Get it from your tap!

Along with the dental profession, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regards community water fluoridation as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century. Dentists everywhere understand the critical role that pediatric oral health plays in promoting good health and preventing disease.

The Importance of Dental Hygiene for Children

Oral healthcare should start with the exciting appearance of the very first tooth in your baby’s mouth. Even though baby teeth will fall out within a few years, they hold a space in the mouth for your child’s permanent ones. Therefore, your child needs to have a healthy mouth when those permanent teeth start growing in. Without proper care, baby teeth are subject to decay and may cause several problems, including:

  • Painful teeth. 
  • Inflamed and painful gums and gum disease.
  • Problems with chewing, eating, and sleeping.
  • Shyness because of embarrassment when talking or smiling.

Encourage Good Dental Hygiene Early

  • Brush your young children’s teeth twice a day from babyhood with fluoride toothpaste. When they are old enough, teach them to do it on their own.
  • Make sure your children have a healthy diet, high in fresh fruits and vegetables, and low in added sugars. It’s especially important to avoid sugary drinks.
  • Take your children for regular dental checkups and cleanings – every six months is recommended.

Start encouraging good dental hygiene for your children now during National Children’s Dental Health Month. Your children will look back and thank you as they reap the benefits of good oral health throughout the rest of their lives.

Final Thoughts

The ADA is steadfast in its commitment to the fluoridation of public water supplies. Over 70 years of scientific research shows that a designated level of fluoride in drinking water is safe and is effective in reducing decaying teeth in children and adults by a minimum of 25%. 

Family Dental Practice in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Old Mt. Pleasant Dentistry understands that dental hygiene is closely tied to the overall health of the entire body. Making sure that your children receive the best oral healthcare not only gives them beautiful smiles but also protects them from the adverse effects of poor oral health. So, if you live in our area, make an appointment for your child with us today.