February is Children’s Dental Health Month, Parents RemindedFeb 11th, 2011 | By Roy Rasmussen | Category: Health
Every February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to raise oral health awareness. This year to support the effort, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) issued a press release recommending guidelines for parents to help their children develop good habits at an early age. Instilling proper oral health habits at an early age will last a child their whole lifetime and improve their overall heath.
Tooth decay affects more than one quarter of children between the ages of two to five, half of children between ages 12 to 15, and many adults. It is the most common chronic disease in children.
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. To prevent tooth decay, the PDA recommended that parents teach their children to:
- Brush teeth twice a day, with fluoride once approved by your child’s dentist, brushing all tooth surfaces, including the gums, the backs of teeth and the tongue, for at least two minutes each time.
- Floss between teeth at least once a day.
- Establish healthy eating habits, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks.
- Visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
- Wear mouthguards for any contact sport or recreational activity.
For more information, the PDA encouraged parents to visit their NCDHM website.