Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.DBeginning in 1941, National Children’s Dental Health Month is held every February to help raise awareness about how important it is for kids to have regular dental checkups and to develop good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides dentists, teachers, and parents with free resources to help educate kids about dental health. These include fun activities, booklets, videos, posters, and more.
In addition, the ADA launched the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003. This initiative helps provide free oral healthcare, including education, screening, and preventative and restorative procedures to more than 300,000 underserved children nationwide. To raise awareness, Give Kids A Smile Day is held on the first Friday of February each year.
Why is Give Kids A Smile Day important?
Given the number of children who require dental treatment but cannot afford it, the significance of the Give Kids A Smile campaign cannot be overstated. According to studies, roughly one in four children under the age of 5 already has cavities. Also, about ten million kids under the age of 18 go without dental care. The Give Kids A Smile campaign offers these children free dental care and dental education.
How can I promote oral health with my kids?
To get your kids started on their path to a lifetime of healthy smiles, help them take the following important steps:
- Regular checkups: It’s recommended you schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as you can if it has been more than six months since your child’s last visit.
- Clean your infant’s gums regularly: After each feeding, gently clean your infant’s gums with a damp washcloth to remove harmful bacteria until their teeth come in.
- Start brushing with the first tooth: As soon as your baby’s first tooth comes in, start brushing their teeth. Use an infant toothbrush, a little water, and fluoride toothpaste.
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste: Using fluoride-containing toothpaste for your children will help prevent tooth decay and decrease teeth sensitivity. Examples are Dentagel and Ludent.
- Brush twice daily for two minutes: Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for kids between the ages of 2 and 6. Children under 6 should always be watched when brushing because they are more likely to swallow toothpaste
- Start flossing as soon as possible: You can begin flossing in between your child's teeth as soon as two or more teeth next to one another come in.
- Snack wisely: Give your children dairy-rich snacks like yogurt with less sugar or cheese are better choices for dental health than fruit juice and sticky candies. For a sweet treat, a chocolate bar is preferable over a gummy which can stick in between the teeth even after cleaning.
- ** Keep them hydrated:** Give them plenty of water instead of sugary drinks to help them rinse away any sugar particles that can cause cavities.
- Keep their toothbrush in good condition: Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.
How can I take part in Give Kids A Smile and National Children’s Dental Health Month?
- Show friends and family how to get their dental products with up to 88% discount using an rxless coupon.
- Participate in health fairs.
- Volunteer in the Give Kids a Smile program.
- Visit a preschool or elementary school or provide a home care presentation.
- Provide materials such as stickers, flossers, and educational brochures for children.
How can I save on my dental prescription?
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