Children’s Dental Month (February, 2024) – District Health Department 10

Pediatric Dentistry Month – (February 2024)

main facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Oral health refers to the health of our teeth, gums and entire orofacial system, allowing us to smile, speak and chew.
  • Children who live in communities with fluoridated tap water have fewer cavities than children with unfluoridated water. Likewise, children who brush their teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste experience fewer cavities.
  • Tooth decay can be prevented. Fluoride varnish prevents about one-third (33%) of cavities in primary (baby) teeth. Applying dental sealants to the chewing surfaces of back teeth can prevent 80% of tooth decay.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Tooth decay, also known as cavities or cavities, is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, but it is preventable. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infection, which can lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning. Children with poor oral health tend to miss more school and have lower grades than children with good oral health.

Your child's diet is important for developing and maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Including good sources of calcium (yoghurt, broccoli, and milk) in your child's diet can help strengthen teeth. Teaching your children healthy eating habits is one of the best practices for lifelong health. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Snack on fruits and vegetables instead of candies and cookies.
  • Brush your child's teeth twice a day.
  • Offer water instead of juice or soda.

What parents and carers can do

for babies

  • Wipe your gums with a soft, clean cloth twice each morning after your first feed and before bed to remove bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
  • When the teeth come in, start brushing them twice a day with a soft, small-bristled toothbrush and water.
  • See your dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts, but no later than your baby's first birthday, to catch signs of problems early.
  • Discuss with your dentist or doctor about applying fluoride varnish to your child's teeth as soon as the first teeth appear.

Children under 2 years old should apply fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

for children

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Help your child brush their teeth until they have good brushing skills.
    If your child is under 6 years old, watch them brush their teeth. Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow it.
  • Ask your child's dentist to apply a dental sealant when the permanent molars erupt.
  • Drink tap water that contains fluoride.
  • Children are now required to have an oral health assessment or dental exam before entering kindergarten.

Affordable dental care available in your community. If you have questions or need assistance finding a dental provider, please contact Elizabeth Johnson, DHD #10 Oral Health Coordinator, at (231) 674-5218

You can also visit to find a dental provider near you.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Basic Oral Health

American Dental Association

Adha | Children’s Dental Health Month

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