February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Happy February! In addition to celebrating your loved ones this month for Valentine’s day, I’d also like to share another important occasion. This month marks the 75th anniversary of National Children’s Dental Health Month. Started in Cleveland, Ohio as a one-day event in 1941, the initiative has grown to a nationally recognized American Dental Association (ADA)  event that helps to spread awareness and information about the importance of good oral health for our children.

This year’s campaign theme is “Sugar Wars,” (I’m sure that has nothing to do with the recent Star Wars phenomenon), are features toothbrush-wielding kiddie superheroes who use their tools to combat “Sweet Tooth Invaders.”  Campaign participants can display poster, enter coloring and essay contests, attend health fairs, receive free dental screenings, enjoy museum exhibits, classroom presentations and dental office tours.

According to a recent article from the ADA, dental caries is the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 and adolescents ages 12 to 19. Tooth decay is  four times more common than asthma in kids aged 14 to 17. ADA materials to help honor the event are available free of charge and feature several healthy tips including “brush two minutes, two times a day,” “clean between your teeth daily,” “eat healthy meals,” and “visit your dentist regularly.”

“National Children’s Dental Health Month has become the symbol of what can happen when thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators come together to help bring awareness to the importance of oral healthcare,” said the chair of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, Dr. Cesar R. Sabates. “I hope that the next 75 years will bring even greater successes as we strive to eliminate early childhood caries and educate everyone on the importance of a healthy mouth and a healthy body. It is through education and prevention that we can eliminate the needless pain and suffering of so many children.”

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