Throughout the month of May, we hope KOHC members and oral health stakeholders across the state are celebrating National Dental Care Month.
National Dental Care Month is a celebration aimed to help bring awareness to the importance of preventative dental care. One of the most important components of maintaining good overall health throughout our childhood and adulthood is by establishing positive dental habits at an early age, such as, visiting a dentist after the first baby tooth has erupted and annually for checkups.
In 2016, a study, conducted in partnership with Delta Dental of Kentucky, the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, and other key partners, collected data on over 2,000 3rd and 6th-grade children to gather oral health information. The key findings showed that the percentage of 3rd and 6th graders in need of early or urgent dental care had actually increased. Also, 2 out of 5 of all the 3rd and 6th graders had untreated cavities, and more than half of them do not have sealants—which is a proven preventive treatment service for children.
Receiving routine dental care allows for chronic disease management and early detection of chronic diseases that display symptoms in the mouth. Historically, Kentucky has struggled with poor oral health outcomes, establishing best dental hygiene practices in your home determines your child’s long-term dental health. By teaching children proper oral hygiene, that is then practiced at home, children will take the practice into adulthood thus reducing or eliminating the current disparities. When teeth are healthy and pain-free, it’s easier to focus, learn, and thrive throughout life.
As the latter part of May kicks off, we want to remind parents, youth, teachers, and community members that you can participate in National Dental Care Month in several ways, such as, reviewing your daily dental habits, scheduling an appointment with your dentist, and using #NationalDentalCareMonth on social media.
Happy Dental Care Month!