February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Children’s dental health was first officially recognized in Cleveland, Ohio in 1941 for one day – February 3rd – the observation grew to a week in 1955. Since then, National Children’s Dental Health Month has brought together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. In 2022, the Kentucky legislature recognized the importance of children’s oral health by declaring February 8, 2022 Children’s Oral Health Awareness Day.
Through activities, initiatives, and promotion, dental advocates across the nation hope to instill in kids long-lasting oral hygiene practices during National Children’s Dental Health Month. This will give kids a good start on developing and maintaining a lifetime of healthy smiles.
This year’s slogan is Brush! Floss! Smile!
Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who don’t.
The more children and young adults learn about oral health, the better off their teeth will be later in life. Taking care of teeth and gums in childhood can prevent problems like toothaches, tooth decay (cavities), and tooth loss. Teaching the following oral hygiene habits early will lead to better oral health throughout adulthood.
- Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Choose fluoridated tap water and limit sugary drinks
- Visit the dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups
Be sure to follow along with KOHC throughout the month of February as we share resources and information centered on children’s oral health.