National Children’s Dental Health Month might not appear on your calendar, but it is a very important awareness campaign that has benefits for everyone. Everyone from caregivers and children to teachers, teens and even adults without children can benefit from the information presented throughout Children’s Dental Health Month.
What Exactly is National Children’s Dental Health Month?
National Children’s Dental Health Month is a month-long campaign dedicated to helping spread the word on the importance of developing good oral hygiene habits in children. It was created by American Dental Association, or ADA, and Crest + Oral B.
Dental professionals, educators, caregivers, and healthcare providers throughout the United States are invited to take part in National Children’s Dental Health Month. Those that wish to take part make a commitment to help educate and inform parents, children, caregivers, and the community about how important it is to establish good oral hygiene habits in children.
Some of the ways dental professionals, caregivers, and healthcare professionals can raise awareness for the benefits of good oral health in children include:
- Running promotions to encourage new patients to visit their dentist
- Offering open houses that help familiarize children with the dentist
- Running an educational campaign that provides important oral health tips for parents and caregivers of young children
- Hosting free events that revolve around the dental industry
- Placing ads in local newspapers to promote the importance of establishing good oral health in children
The Theme for the 2018 National Children’s Dental Health Month
Every year the organizers of National Children’s Dental Health Month pick a theme for their campaign. The theme for the 2018 National Children’s Dental Health Month, which starts in February, is brushing with fluoride toothpaste and encouraging flossing.
Tips for Kids Oral Care for Parents and Caregivers of Children
To get a jumpstart on National Children’s Dental Health Month, the staff at Valderrama Orthodontics wishes to provide you with some kids oral care tips. Caregivers and parents of children can use these tips to help work to establish good habits and practices that lead to good oral health.
Some kids oral care tips include:
- Don’t wait for teeth to grow in to start brushing. If your child doesn’t have any teeth, use a gentle towel or piece of gauze and wipe down the gums. This will remove any bacteria or sugar that could lead to dental problems in the future.
- Use a child’s size toothbrush when a tooth appears. Make sure to brush at least two times a day for two minutes and use a pea sized amount of non-fluoride toothpaste.
- Switch to fluoride toothpaste once your child is able to properly brush their teeth and will not swallow the toothpaste. Until you are sure they won’t accidently swallow the toothpaste while brushing, it is best to use non-fluoride toothpaste. Children are often ready for fluoride toothpaste between the ages of 2 and 4.
- Start flossing when your child develops multiple teeth that are close together. If the teeth are touching, there is enough room that food particles, bacteria and plaque can build up. Gently flossing between the teeth will remove these things and improve your child’s oral health.
- Help your child with brushing and flossing until they are approximately 7. Children don’t have the motor skills or strength to properly brush and floss until they are 7. Caregivers and parents should make sure they help their children brush and floss in an effort to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
- Stick to a routine. Children do best when they have stick to a schedule. Try to brush and floss at the same time every day. This will get your children in the habit of doing these things on a regular basis. That habit will carry with them throughout their entire life.
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a routine checkup and professional cleaning. Children should see their dentist approximately twice a year.
- Schedule an appointment with an orthodontic specialist before the age of 7. Some children could benefit from undergoing early orthodontic treatment.
Parents and caregivers located in the Melbourne, Florida area can schedule a consultation with Valderrama Orthodontics to discuss the need for early orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.