National Children’s Dental Health Month | How to Ensure Your Child Has a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles
Annually in our office, and in many offices around the country, February is recognized and celebrated as National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM.) From the time a child’s first tooth comes in, it is important to begin a daily hygiene routine and schedule their introductory appointment at the dentist. Beginning dental visits at the early age of one, helps with making both child and parent comfortable.
Although it’s commonly referred to as a “ride in the dental chair”, there are a lot of very important tasks being completed at this appointment. The doctor will review the child’s medical history, complete an oral exam to check growth and development, evaluate risk for tooth decay, and determine if he or she is getting the correct amount of fluoride. This is also a great opportunity to discuss with the parent the importance of primary teeth, the eruption process, as well as teething, pacifier use, and finger or thumb sucking habits. To conclude the visit, a dental hygienist may apply fluoride as necessary and the child will be given a toothbrush and a gift to commemorate their first session.
Once the initial relationship is established, we like to continue influencing children to maintain healthy practices even well after they are brushing their own teeth. This is implemented in their bi-annual visits, however, we also make time during NCDHM to visit schools in our area and speak to the students. We typically prepare a small child-friendly presentation that includes hands-on learning. The teachers are provided with posters from the American Dental Association (ADA) highlighting the NCDHM theme.
This year we had the pleasure of visiting Primrose School of Midtown located in Colony Square. We spoke to their 4 and 5 year old students on the importance of a healthy smile. They learned how a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash all contribute to pearly whites and help to remove the cavity causing “sugar bugs.” Each student received a goodie back with a poster-sized reminder to brush, as well as an activity worksheet, a toothbrush, smile stickers, an informative brochure, and a letter to parents informing them of our presentation. If you’d like us to visit your child’s school please let us know! We are always open to exploring new opportunities with schools in our community.
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