National Children’s Dental Health Month
Feb. 10, 2015
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.
2015 NCDHM Campaign
This year's NCDHM campaign slogan "Defeat Monster Mouth" is displayed on the eye-catching children's posters that feature the McGrinn Twins, Flossy and Buck, along with their best friends and next-door neighbors Den and Gen Smiley, and K-9 the dog. They are fighting to defeat Plaqster the Monster for good oral health. The preteen/teenagers' posters demonstrate effective ways to defeat monster mouth and maintain good oral health by brushing, flossing, rinsing and eating healthy snacks.
Importance of Childhood Oral Hygiene
The foundation for healthy permanent teeth begins at a young age. The diet habits and tooth-brushing habits you acquire in the first two years of life have been shown to be related to tooth decay in children.
You don't want your children to have to go tooth to tooth against Plaqster the Monster, so it's important to help them develop a proper oral hygiene routine early on. A proper routine will help develop strong, healthy teeth; this routine must never be optional, but should instead become habitual for young children - the right way to start and end each day.
Diet also plays a key role in keeping teeth healthy. Be aware of the contents in the food and drink that your child is consuming.
Top 8 Foods/Drinks That Damage Your Teeth
Ice - Chewing hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel
Citrus - Frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth susceptible to decay over time
Coffee - Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may stain your teeth
Sticky foods - Sticky foods tend to stay on your teeth longer than other types of food
Crunchy foods - Crunchy foods like potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth that can lead to plaque buildup (Plaqster the Monster can spot this from a mile away!)
Soda - Sugary foods and drinks produce acid that attacks your enamel
Sports drinks - Sugar is a top ingredient in most sports drinks - next time, check the label and make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar
Role of Parents
As a parent, you play a key role in helping your child develop an oral hygiene routine. Parents should lead and supervise their children's tooth brushing approximately for the first 12 years until motor and mental functions allow the child to routinely perform a proper tooth brushing technique alone. Scheduling regular dentist visits for your little ones is paramount; once your child reaches two years, these visits should occur every six months.
Always remember the basics:
- Brush 2x each day
- Floss daily
- Regular dental check-ups