UC Smiles Ortho Post

National Children's Dental Health Month
Posted on 02/05/2016

National Children's Dental Health Month

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

Helping to Keep Children's Mouths Safe & Healthy

Each year, the month of February is recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) as National Children’s Dental Health Month. This is done to help in increasing oral health awareness and promoting healthy smiles for children.

So why is this type of celebration, and year-round attention to children’s dental health, important? Well, here are some statistics for National Children’s Dental Health Month. Take a look at some of these children’s dental health data; is there at least one dental fact in there you might not have known?

  1. Childhood tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
  2. Gum disease is contagious; parents can transfer the bacteria in saliva to kids by sharing spoons.
  3. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses.
  4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 50% of tooth decay remains untreated in low-income children.
  5. Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2–5 years and half of those aged 12–15 years.

Furthermore, some studies have revealed that children who had tooth pain were four times more likely to have a grade point average below the median GPA.

Keeping Children's Smiles Healthy

The good news is that most of the dental diseases that affect children are preventable. Here are some tips for maintaining good oral health this month (and for a lifetime).

  1. EARLY: According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the most important preventive step against childhood periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits at an early age. This goes for prevention of dental diseases as well
  2. BRUSH: Brush for two minutes, 2 times per day. Supervise children’s brushing until you are confident they are capable of cleaning their teeth thoroughly
  3. FLOSS: When the gaps between children’s teeth close, it’s important to start to clean between their teeth with a dental floss. Floss at least once daily
  4. DENTIST: See the dentist regularly for family checkups, and ask them about sealants & fluoride.
  5. EAT HEALTHY: Limit sugary snacks & drinks between meals
  6. MODEL: Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits.
  7. CHECK: Check your child’s mouth periodically for the signs of gum disease; including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

Have a lovely month and keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay! If you have any questions related to National Children's Dental Health Month, feel free to contact us at UC Smiles Orthodontics today. We'd be happy to answer any and all questions you may have, and if you are located in the greater Universal City or San Antonio, TX areas, you can stop by one of our offices and meet us in person!