Water is Theme for February Children’s Dental Health Month Observation

Tooth decay — otherwise known as dental caries — is the number one chronic disease among children. But, drinking more water, especially if it’s fluoridated, would create many practical benefits that would improve your children’s dental health.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. It is organized by the American Dental Association (A.D.A.) to bring together dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of oral health to children.

This year’s theme is “Water, Nature’s Drink!”

It’s very simple. Our bodies are made up of 60% water! So just staying hydrated helps your system eliminate the waste, move around the healthy nutrients, give your skin a healthy glow, and keep your muscles moving.

“We know water can rejuvenate the body and stave off those sugary drinks and foods in our diet. Leonardo da Vinci once said that ‘Water is the driving force of all nature.’ As dental professionals, we know that oral health is a driving force of overall health.” — Shamik Vakil, D.D.S., member of the A.D.A. Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention.

What Determines First Dental Visit?

According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists, parents should pick a dentist for their child by the arrival of the first tooth or first birthday. At that time, the dentist would swab the child’s mouth to check out gums as well as teeth.

Usually, as the child grew and began teething, progress would be monitored by the dentist, especially if any preventative measures would be needed.

The problem is, there is an average of 4,415 residents per general dental practice in North Carolina! That is higher than the current U.S. average of 3,239. Whether it is for lack of money, lack of insurance, or just lack of transportation to reach dental centers, many N.C. kids do not get the dental health attention needed.

Parents need to step up when it comes to children’s dental health care. Baby teeth are critical during a child’s first 8-10 years in saving space for permanent teeth. Baby teeth affect not only chewing but also speaking and smiling.

What is THE One Thing Parents Can Do? 

Don’t let the baby go to sleep with a bottle of milk!!!

It is so tempting to keep the little one from crying by giving in. But a big oral health risk for infants and young children under the age of 1 is from baby bottle tooth decay.

Milk, formula, fruit juice, soda, and other sweetened drinks; bacteria in a baby’s mouth consume the sugar in these liquids and produce acid. And the acid which attacks the enamel on baby teeth can trigger tooth decay after continued exposure.

When untreated, tooth decay can also cause oral infections that enter the bloodstream. These can lead to other serious health problems.

If your baby really needs to sleep with a bottle, go with water as the safest option.

Children’s Dental Health Month Zoom Event {{ SUBHEAD }}

The Poe Center and Raleigh Wake County Dental Society are hosting a free Zoom Event for Pre-K–3rd-grade children and their families as part of National Children’s Dental Health Month. The Zoom session will help you and your children brush up on your cavity-fighting power as well as learn about your amazing teeth. It is set for Feb. 6 from 10 am to noon.

Register here online to get free access to the event.