In February of 1949, Children’s National Dental Health Day was first created to encourage healthy oral habits for children.  Fast forward 31 years later, to 1981, and February was deemed a month-long celebration to focus on dental health for kids.  One might almost think this was a purposeful move made during a month where a lot of Valentine candy is consumed. Hmm.

Educational programs and prevention awareness is the best way to help parents and caregivers navigate oral health with their children.  After all, good habits start young, and getting kids to brush and floss regularly often feels like fighting an uphill battle.  But if adults can hold children to high expectations when it comes to oral health, they will prevent them from dealing with chronic issues and hassles in the future.

The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry AAPD recently released some intriguing information as it relates to oral health in children:

  • Tooth decay is the #1 chronic infectious disease affecting children in the United States…luckily, it’s preventable.
  • 60% of children will be affected by tooth decay by their 5th birthday.
  • Oral health problems in children cause 3 times the amount of missed school for appointments than a child with a healthy mouth.
  • AAPD recommends taking a child for their first dental visit by the age of 1.
  • Delaying dental care is not advised. However, 40% of caregivers and parents admitted putting off dentals care for their toddlers.

February is a great opportunity to spread the word about oral health and to realize the influence parents can have to help shape a kid’s quality of life.