February is Children’s Dental Health Month!

Did You Know? Tooth decay is 5 times more common in children than asthma!

In fact, tooth decay infects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease.

Tooth decay is more than just a cosmetic concern for children. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infection that may lead to problems eating, speaking, playing and learning.

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following as some ways parents can help their children develop good oral health habits:

  • Encourage healthy eating habits. Encourage children to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.
  • Start cleaning teeth early-clean teeth with a clean damp cloth as soon as they appear; begin using toothpaste with fluoride when the child is 2 years old.
  • Use the right amount of fluoride toothpaste—too little doesn’t provide protection from cavities, too much can lead to permanent white spots on teeth. Talk to your dentist about what is best for your child.
  • Supervise brushing. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day until he/she can do it on their own. Closely monitor to ensure that your child is doing a thorough job, using the right amount of toothpaste and isn’t swallowing the toothpaste.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor or dentist. Speak with a professional about your child’s specific dental health needs. Your doctor or dentist will be able to give you information on regular dental checkups for children, dental sealants and fluoride.

Throughout the month of February, CCHD’s Oral Health Educator will be holding several special events to help children learn more about how to take care of their teeth and the importance of good oral health habits. She and Dental Assistant students from the College of Technology will be visiting each Kindergarten class in the county to teach children good oral health habits. Each child will receive a toothbrush and toothpaste. The Oral Health Educator and the students will also be visiting story hour at the Great Falls Public Library on Wednesday, February 26 at 10:30am. All children aged 2-5 years with adult supervision are welcome!

Click here to visit CCHD’s Oral Health page and learn more these local programs.