Every year when February rolls around, the first thing people might think of is Valentine’s Day. While we love all things chocolate, we want to focus on your children’s dental health.
Sponsored by the American Dental Association, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s a great time to increase awareness about pediatric dental hygiene, so use this time to talk to kids about dental health. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher, you can set a good example for children and help them develop healthy dental habits.
Why Children’s Dental Health Is Important
The statistics about children’s dental health is shocking.
Studies show that 51 million hours of school are missed by American students every year. Yikes! Children are missing critical instruction time that teach them important skills that are the building blocks of future learning. In fact, kids suffering from oral health pain are 4 times more likely to have a lower grade point average.
We have always been true believers that oral health affects overall health. So, we’re not surprised to learn that children suffering from oral health are suffering in other areas as well.
The great news is that it’s never too late to educate kids about the importance of dental health and the proper ways to care for their smile.
5 Ways To Celebrate
1- Schedule an Appointment
National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect reminder to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and checkup. Kids should get their teeth cleaned every 6 months to make sure their smile is the best it can be. Developing a relationship between kids and the dentist will make them more comfortable when they visit. Scheduling your child’s appointment in February means you’ll be able to squeeze in a back-to-school checkup in August.
2- Buy New Toothbrushes
How often should you replace your child’s toothbrush? Typically, toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months. Frayed toothbrush bristles reduce the effectiveness that a toothbrush has on cleaning teeth. If you can’t remember when you last replaced your child’s toothbrush and those bristles are looking frayed, it’s time to replace it.
3- Color a Chart
The American Dental Association offers coloring pages and other online activities to help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month. Here you can download fun activity sheets for kids to color. They’re fun and educational. You can also find posters that are great to hang in a bathroom or classroom to remind kids about the importance of a healthy smile and to motivate them to actively care for their teeth.
4- Do a Brushing Checkup
Watch your kids as they brush, floss, and rinse their teeth. You may be surprised to find they are not using enough toothpaste, or are skipping flossing altogether. By checking up on your kids’ brushing routine you’ll have the opportunity to instruct them on the correct way to brush, floss, and rinse.
5- Show Plaque
Plaque is difficult for kids to see so they may not understand why it’s so important to brush, floss, and rinse. Plaque-disclosing tablets are a great tool to reveal plaque on teeth. After your child uses one, look in the mirror together and point out the areas that plaque tends to collect. The gum line and in between teeth are the perfect places to look. Then your kids can brush away the visible plaque.
Remember, Valentine’s Day comes once a year, but dental health lasts a lifetime. Take the time to make a dental appointment for your kids with Taglia Advanced Dentistry in Elmwood Park. We are near Oak Park, Melrose Park, River Forest, Maywood, Franklin Park, and Bellwood, IL.