National Children’s Dental Health Month


Every February, the American Dental Association celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month, as they strive to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and the significance of starting good habits early.

National Children’s Dental Health Month beginnings stretch back to 1941 when a one-day event was held in hopes of educating families about the importance of educating their children about the importance of dental health. Eight years later, the American Dental Association jumped on board and held their first official observance of Children’s Dental Health Day, on Feb. 8, 1949. The one-day event was stretched to a week-long campaign, in 1955, and in 1981. National Children’s Dental Health Month had officially grown from a small, two-city event that lasted for just a few days to a full nationwide event that took place for the entire month of February.

Developing good habits at an early age can start children on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, and it has been proven that dental health has a direct effect on the health of other parts of the body. Left untreated, bacteria in the mouth can grow and enter the bloodstream causing a variety of health problems. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and has even been seen as a precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease. While none of these are ailments that children should be worried about or focused on, helping them to build good dental habits early can set them up for a healthier future.

The American Dental Association lists some ways that parents can work on dental health with their children:

  • Don’t skip - Making it a habit requires sticking to the schedule. Even when there is a special occasion or if your child is tired, you need to reinforce the importance of brushing.
  • Make it fun - Songs that last 2 minutes will help. Reading to your child while they brush may help, too. Even a puppet brushing his teeth can be motivating.
  • Learn by example - Children emulate their parents. Brush with your children, and they will want to be just like you.
  • Trial and error - Try different kinds of toothpaste until you find the one Junior likes. Try using the smallest amount he will allow and working your way up to the recommended amount. Even a tiny amount is better than no toothpaste.
  • Don’t give up - The pain of cavities and lifelong dental issues is more costly and damaging than the dealing with these few moments of nagging battles twice a day.

Sparta has a relatively new office for young patients to focus on their dental health. Rockin’ Smiles Dental and Orthodontics opened in 2022 and has focused their office on not just being kid friendly but also on making each child’s experience enjoyable. From music to video games, from televisions above treatment chairs, to guitars that can be taken off the walls and played, and ice cream for the road as they leave, Rockin’ Smiles Dental and Orthodontics is working to ensure that children don’t have a negative experience when visiting the dentist. After all, if children can relate positive experiences to dental health, it is much more likely they will continue to build good habits and maintain good dental health as they become adults.                               


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