February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

 

Join the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood, the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maryland’s Dental Action Coalition, the National Head Start Association, the Judy Center Early Learning Hubs, and thousands of schools and programs nationwide to celebrate the National Children’s Dental Health Month in February!Dark blue large bathroom faucet and sink filled with water. Little girl and boy floating around with toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.

Now in its 64th year, this month-long national observance brings together dental care professionals, health care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children. This year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign slogan is, “Fluoride in water prevents cavities.”

For young children, those yucky cavities are one of the most common childhood diseases. However, thanks to the fluoride in tap water, toothpaste, regular dental checkups, and well-informed parents and families, millions of U.S. children have been successfully avoiding cavities for over 75 years, says the ADA.  In fact, research shows that there are a variety of benefits to drinking fluoridated water, including a 25 percent decrease in tooth decay or cavities, says the CDC. Experts also agree that fluoride is one of the best and safest ways to prevent young children from getting cavities.

By hosting and participating in National Children’s Dental Health Month activities and workshops, parents, families, teachers, providers, and other community members can work together to ensure children’s teeth are strong and protected. The first step, of course, is for children to steer clear of sugary drinks and beverages, and drink plenty of tap water. Also, take a few moments to review some basic facts about community water fluoridation and important information on the safety, effectiveness, and cost benefits by visiting the CDC’s Water Fluoridation FAQs page.

Parents and Families: As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. Children should have their first dental checkup no later than their first birthday.

Teachers and Providers: For oral health activity sheets (available in English and Spanish), visit ADA.org/FromTheTap “Celebrating 75 years of water fluoridation.”

Download the “official” National Children’s Dental Health Month Poster here:

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Download Poster

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Download Poster (Spanish)

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