Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month 2022
What is Dental Health?
According to the CDC, oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak and chew. Some of the most common diseases that impact our oral health include cavities (tooth decay), gum (periodontal) disease, and oral cancer.
Children’s Oral Health
Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 (20 percent) of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Children aged 5 to 19 years from low-income families are twice as likely (25 percent) to have cavities, compared with children from higher-income households. The good news is that cavities are preventable! Fluoride varnish treatment can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse. Fluoride varnish can prevent about one-third (33 percent) of cavities in baby teeth.
Children who live in communities with fluoridated tap water or brush with fluoride toothpaste may have fewer cavities. Truckee Meadows Water Authority in Washoe County does not add fluoride to our drinking water, so it is important to look for toothpaste that includes fluoride.
How to Keep Your Teeth Safe
Follow a few of these tips to keep your teeth safe:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Ask your child’s dentist to apply dental sealants when appropriate
- Ask your dentist for oral fluoride supplements
What Are Risk Factors for Cavities?
- Family members that have cavities
- Eating/Drinking a lot of sugary foods and drinks
- Children who wear braces
- Not brushing your teeth well
National Children’s Dental Health Month
The American Dental Association hosted the very first Children’s Dental Health Day back in 1949. According to Colgate, since 1949, this observance has grown to become a month-long event dedicated to improving the oral health and quality of life of children across the nation.
This year, Community Health Alliance has partnered with LIBERTY Dental to provide children dental kits for the month of February. On Tuesday, February 22, LIBERTY Dental and Community Health Alliance will be hosting an event at our Wells Avenue Health Center, located at 1055 S. Wells Avenue, from 9-12 p.m. At the event, LIBERTY Dental will be giving out dental kits and also teaching children and their families how to properly brush their teeth.
Here are some great resources from LIBERTY Dental to learn about children’s dental health:
Schedule a teeth cleaning for your child at Community Health Alliance. We currently offer preventative and restorative dental care at our Wells Ave. Health Center.