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February is National Children's Dental Health Month (Part 2)

By HERWriter
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National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) turns 60 this year. NCDHM began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio on Feb. 3, 1941. The American Dental Association (ADA) held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on Feb. 8, 1949. This single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Each February, since 1949, the ADA has sponsored the month to raise awareness among families and policymakers about the importance to children of good oral health habits. During this month, dental professionals across the country will focus on the preventive oral care of this nation's children.

The Michigan Dental Association and its 26 local dental societies take great pride in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month. Dentists throughout the state conduct oral health screenings and provide educational programs in schools and for community organizations.

In Michigan, it is expected that more than 15,000 children throughout the state will receive free oral health screenings or dental treatment, and an additional 9,000 children will receive oral health education as part of the Give Kids a Smile campaign. More than 400 members of the Michigan Dental Association, along with 1,200 hygienists, assistants and volunteers will participate in Give Kids a Smile day this year.

“Oral health is such an important part of a child’s overall good health, and yet it can be overlooked in young children, said Michigan Dental Association President Joanne Dawley, D.D.S. “Good oral health habits should begin with an introductory dental visit before a child’s first birthday. Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and with proper care, a healthy diet and regular dental visits, children can have a lifetime of health smiles.”

In San Jose, California, Dr. Kim Loos will be leading the effort with educational and fun presentations to kindergarteners and first graders. One of the topics Dr. Loos will discuss is the first visit to the dentist.

Add a Comment5 Comments

I like what Susan said above - diet is very important. I work at a dentist's office and have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. Taking care of her teeth is just a small piece of the things we all, as parents, need to worry about.
I wanted to mention that for National Children's Dental Health Month, Wellesley Dental Group in Wellesley, MA donates our time to visit local schools, teach kids about healthy hygiene, and we try and provide helpful oral health resources for parents and educators. I'm excited that for this February, we are able to provide free dental examinations for all new children patients. We're hoping that this helps parents feel more comfortable bringing their young children in for the first appointment. Thank you for raising awareness about oral health for children.

January 25, 2010 - 1:33pm
HERWriter Guide

We take our children to the dentist every 6 months and they all started as they turned 3. We are very fortunate to have dental insurance with a fairly low deductible.

Diet has impacted our children's mouths more than anything, in my opinion. Soda (I don't see any reason for any kid to drink soda - if they want something other than milk or water, they can have watered down 100% juice that's organic.) When you make it with half water and half juice, the price is actually better than regular juice.

Between sodas and sticky sweets every day, and failure of parents to supervise and ensure detailed brushing of the tongue, teeth and gums at least twice a day, it's no wonder children's teeth suffer. And they need more calcium and lean protein to help with their dental care.

Parenting is hard, and getting everything done 'perfectly' isn't possible for most of us (or at least me!) but some small steps like the ones above can make a world of difference with a child's dental health.

January 25, 2010 - 12:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

The problem is that dentists neglect children the rest of the 364 days of the year.

over 80% of dentists refuse Medicaid patients and 130 million Americans lack dental insurance. Untreated tooth decay is a growing US problem. US children have died from the consequences of untreated tooth decay.

Yes, dentists can't treat people for free all the time. But organized dentistry blocks any other viable groups from taking care of the people who dentists won't - keeping dental care unavailable to too many Americans and keeping dentistry a very lucrative monopoly

Meanwhile dentists choose to treat water supplies instead of low-income people. But science shows that fluoridation has failed to reduce tooth decay and expose people unnecessarily to fluoride's adverse effects

We need to stop fluoridation and use the millions of dollars saved to actually treat dentist neglected children.

Give Kids A Smile Day is just another PR stunt to make even more money for dentists and the corporations that benefit from tooth decay.

for more info http://www.FluorideAction.Net

January 25, 2010 - 12:10pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I work in a practice that takes medicaid and let me tell you what, the attitudes of some of these people are truely disgraceful. They don't show up for their appointments; when they do, they are usually late; and when they aren't late, they are in the biggest hurry to get out of the office because they have a more important date (lunch, nail salon, hair cut...) I have heard it all from these people. On top of that, the fact that you barely get reimbursement for services and I am ready to pull my hair out. No wonder Dentists don't like to work with Medicaid.

January 25, 2010 - 4:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Conspiratorial Anti-fluoride Brigade? Present and accounted for!

Dramatic decreases in childhood tooth decay in the past 30 years can largely be attributed to fluoridation of municipal water supplies. But the Evil Dental Cabal is out to get you and your pretty money. C'mon, really?

January 25, 2010 - 12:23pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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