Promoting Proper Dental Health from the Start
February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness month, a time to reflect on the type of dental hygiene education kids receive to maintain a healthy smile for life. The Children’s Dental Health Project has released some new facts about this topic and ways we can help improve our children’s overall health by promoting proper oral care from the start.
The state of children’s dental health – Tooth decay and cavities in children are far too frequent and largely preventable:
- Nearly half of 5-year-olds have tooth decay.
- Nearly all tooth decay can be prevented. Early prevention is cost-effective.
- Children with cavities in their primary (baby) teeth are three times more likely to develop cavities in their permanent (adult) teeth.
Things you can do – Just a few simple steps can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles:
- Take your child to their first dental visit by their first birthday – This will familiarize them with their dentist and the dental exam.
- Teach your children proper brushing habits – A proper dental education starts early and can last a lifetime. Show your child fun videos like this to demonstrate proper techniques.
- Be sure your child is covered – The children's dental benefit provision of the Affordable Care Act can be confusing to families. A new guide co-produced by the Children's Dental Health Project and Families USA, Buying Children's Dental Coverage through the Marketplace, uses eight frequently asked questions to explain or clarify how the dental benefit works.