Smile! It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month

putting toothpaste on toothbrush

Let’s encourage our kids to take better care of their dental health this February.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  A major goal of this month is educating children about proper oral hygiene practices.  As parents, it’s important that we teach our kids how to take care of their dental health. Because of this month, here are some suggestions that we can do to try and instill good dental hygiene habits in our children.

  • Lead By Example

When our kids are young, most of them look up to us and everything that we do. This is why it’s important that we model good dental hygiene practices ourselves.  By brushing our teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and rinsing with mouthwash, we can set a good example for our kids to follow.

  • Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments

It’s suggested that our children go to the dentist every six months. By making dentist visits a normal activity, this will most likely become a routine that our family will continue throughout their lives.   It’s recommended that we schedule our children’s first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first.

  • Discuss the Benefits of Good Dental Hygiene

Telling our kids to go and brush their teeth doesn’t have the same impact as sitting down with them and explaining the benefits of good dental hygiene.  When we take the time to explain why keeping our teeth and mouths healthy is important, our childrenare much more likely to take the matter seriously.

  • Why is Oral Health Important?

Like other areas of the body, our mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But our mouth is the entry point to our digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.

Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Also, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect us from microbes that multiply and lead to disease.

Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with a severe form of gum disease (periodontitis) might play a role in some diseases. And certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.

Join us at The Maria Sanchez Show as we encourage good oral hygiene this National Children’s Dental Health Month.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.   Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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