February traditionally rings in Valentine’s Day with hearts, chocolate, candy, flowers, and stuffed animals, but it is also National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM)! Long after Valentine’s goodies are gone, your child’s healthy smile can last a lifetime.
NCDHM is sponsored by the American Dental Association, and each year the campaign targets a different dental health goal. February 2020’s theme is, “Fluoride in water prevents cavities; get it from the tap!”
You may not know it, but the most chronic childhood disease in the United States is tooth decay. NCDHM’s 2020 campaign brings dental health professionals around the country together in a common goal: encouraging caregivers, parents and teachers to provide children with the healthy start they need for healthy smiles.
Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities
2020 is the 75th anniversary of adding fluoride to local water supplies around the country. Grand Rapids, Michigan, was actually the first city in the world to add fluoride to its drinking water, all the way back in 1945.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that adding fluoride to our tap water is one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century! Thanks to this life-changing decision, you can follow this year’s NCDHM goal of having your child get fluoride from public tap water to prevent cavities.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth
Protect Your Child’s Tooth Enamel: Tooth sensitivity because of worn or damaged enamel can expose the sensitive layer of dentin below, resulting in pain. Fluoride keeps oral acids from breaking down tooth enamel. Along with diligent daily brushing and flossing, this prevents de-mineralization of the tooth as well as decay.
Remineralize Teeth: Healthy teeth have protective minerals like calcium and phosphorus that fight off acid attacks, which is why our dentist may recommend fluoride treatments for your child. Fluoride helps protect precious enamel by adding those minerals needed for healthy teeth.
Prevents Cavities: Fluoride keeps your child’s teeth healthy and strong. Have your child drink more tap water, and if needed, ask our dentist if a fluoride treatment can help your child’s teeth win the war against cavities!
We support this goal, and we encourage brushing and flossing, providing healthy snacks for your child, and routine dental visits during the year. When it comes to teaching your little ones healthy oral hygiene habits, these can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy grins.
6 Tips for Your Child’s Healthy Smile
- 1. Help your child brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- 2. Make sure your child cleans between their teeth every day.
- 3. Provide your child with a nutritious, balanced diet for healthy teeth and gums.
- 4. Offer healthy snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables, and water; limit sugar-laden sodas and juices that only feed oral bacteria.
- 5. Take your child to their first dental visit after the eruption of their first tooth.
- 6. Make sure your child sees our dentist every six months for routine checkups and treatment.
Your child’s teeth are vital for their dental health and emotional wellbeing, even those baby teeth that hold space for their permanent teeth. Pain from cavities can make it difficult for your child to chew, eat, and sleep, and even result in missed school days. Help prevent this from happening by encouraging your child to drink tap water with cavity-fighting fluoride to help them maintain a healthier, confident smile!