February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and every year Brosy Family Dentistry celebrates by participating in the Give Kids a Smile program. The Give Kids a Smile program was launched by the American Dental Association in 2003 as a way to reach underserved children who may not have dental care otherwise. Every year on the first Friday in February, thousands of dental care providers and other volunteers join forces in communities around the country to provide free oral health education, screenings, and treatment to children in need. Since 2003, more than 6 MILLION children have been cared for by more than half a million volunteers through Give Kids a Smile!
Our local Give Kids a Smile event was held on Friday February 7th at Champagne Family Dentistry. Dr. Erin spent the day with dozens of other dental professionals and volunteers from our amazing community. More than 130 local children received free dental care!
Dental health is a vital component of overall health and proper dental care is important for people of ALL ages! Here are a few quick facts about children’s dental health:
1. First dental check-ups should begin by a child’s first birthday. Kids who start receiving professional dental care at the age of one have significantly lower childhood cavity rates.
2. Brushing should begin with the first tooth!
3. Flossing should being as soon as teeth are touching or when first baby molars have come in. Even if teeth aren’t touching completely, it’s great to start healthy habits early.
4. Having fluoride varnish treatments at least twice a year beginning at the age of one can decrease decay rates by 50%.
5. Non-fluoride toothpaste (aka training toothpaste) should be used until a child can completely spit and rinse after brushing.
6. Children who have constant/frequent access (through bottles, sippy cups, etc.) to anything other than water have higher decay rates.
7. Juice, even when watered down, has very little nutritional benefit and children who regularly consume it have higher decay rates.
8. Kids whose parents have healthy oral hygiene habits and regular professional dental care have lower decay rates.
9. The bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease is transmissible and can be spread to children through sharing drinks and utensils.
10. Dental sealants placed on permenant molars decrease decay on chewing surfaces by 90%.