Confession: I am not a good mommy when it comes to taking my children to the dentist. I need a good reminder, such as National Children’s Dental Health Month, to give me a nudge to simply pick up the phone and make my kids a dentist appointment. I have no excuse – we even pay good money for dental insurance.
The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors the National Children’s Dental Health Month every February to increase awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene starting at an early age to develop habits for healthy teeth and gums that last a lifetime. Their site has a page with links to a lot of information including Fun Activity Sheets for kids, as well as handouts for presentations on oral hygiene that are appropriate for daycare age all the way up through high school. Check it out HERE.
Friday, February 4th is the day for the ADA’s Give Kids a Smile Program. Thousands of dentists nationwide will provide free oral health care to children from low income families. CLICK HERE to see if there is a program near you.
I actually learned a few things from the ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry websites that were surprising facts relating to children and good oral hygiene. For example, did you know that children should be seeing a dentist regularly by the time they are 3 years old? I didn’t! I thought that children didn’t really need to go until they started getting permanent teeth…I am so wrong!
Another revelation to me was that if your children’s primary source of drinking water does not have fluoride, your dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements. My family gets our water from a well, which does not have fluoride in it, so my children are not getting the fluoride their teeth need to be healthy! If your children drink bottled or filtered water, they might not be getting fluoride. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride and many water filters remove fluoride.
Have a Happy National Children’s Dental Health Month and celebrate by taking your children to the dentist!