February is Children’s Dental Health Month, an initiative brought by the American Dental Association (ADA).
The event which started off as a small-scale cause in just two cities in 1941 has developed into a nationwide programme. The aim is to raise awareness for the importance of good oral habits and to ensure that children’s teeth and gums remain healthy for the rest of their lives.
This year’s theme is “Defeat Monster Mouth” and puts an emphasis on beating problems like plaque and cavities. Tooth decay is of frequent occurrence among children but the campaign aims to show parents and children that it is completely preventable if certain measures are taken. The lack of treatment can cause persistent pain, making eating and chewing painful, and also colours and damages the teeth.
A clinical advisor for Stratford Orthodontics says that “Young children have specific oral care needs, especially those undergoing orthodontic treatment.” He also says that “children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.”
The most important role in this is the one of the parents.
Parents play a very important role in contributing to their children’s understanding of the importance of taking care of their teeth. They also have to be aware of how regularly their children ought to visit the dentists. Children should be encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day, eat nutritious food and avoid large quantities of sugar.
The campaign brings a month-long national health observance and unites thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators. Together they are trying to promote the importance of children’s dental health to the children themselves, their parents and teachers and many others.
The ADA provides the poster and a Programme Planning Guide for the National Children’s Dental Health Month 2015, which can be found here.