Poor oral health can have a detrimental effect on children’s quality of life, their performance at school, and their success later in life. Cavities are preventable and ensuring that students have the preventive oral health services they need in school is important in helping them stay healthy and ready to learn.
National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941. Over the years, it has expanded to a month-long observance. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Children’s oral health is linked to self-esteem, learning, personal expression, and overall health.
Tips for healthy teeth and gums:
Brush twice a day and floss daily. Toothbrushes should be changed 3-4 times each year.
Mouth rinse or chew gum after meals. An antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay. Sugar-free gum can increase saliva and neutralize acid.
Block blows to teeth. Wear a mouth guard during sports and recreational activities.
Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Tobacco stains teeth and increases risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
Eat smart. A well-balanced diet of whole foods -- including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products -- will provide all the nutrients you need.
Avoid sugary foods. Bacteria break down sugar into acid that can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Make an appointment. It is recommended to see your dentist every 6 months.