February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, an annual month-long campaign, headed by the American Dental Association (ADA), which encourages dental and other health care professionals and educators to collaborate in promoting good oral health care to children and their caregivers.
This year’s theme is “Tooth Team,” a concept designed by Columbia College Chicago art student Jade Rector. The Tooth Team is a group of four fun characters and their oversized toothbrush, dental floss, and tube of fluoride toothpaste. Rector’s posters and accompanying activity sheets were designed to make oral health self-care habits fun and rewarding by encouraging a teamwork attitude as kids “work together with the team” to keep their teeth clean.
This is a great reminder for adults and children alike of the importance of excellent oral health, and that the key to long term oral health is the simple but vital habits we form when we’re young.
In line with the National Children’s Dental Health Month theme, here are three tips to help parents and caregivers get their kids on the Tooth Team in February and, hopefully, for the rest of their lives.
Make oral health self care fun
Most kids hate chores. But, they love games. So, when there’s an important chore that needs to be done, wise parents can help their reluctant kids view it as a game.
This concept works really well for getting kids into healthy daily habits like brushing and flossing their teeth. Check out this article from a previous National Children’s Dental Health Month for lots of great suggestions for making that happen.
As any parent knows, sometimes encouraging our kids to do what’s best for them takes a little bit of creative psychology. This article provides three creative tips that may be just what your son or daughter needs to develop a love for brushing at an early age.
Work with your local dentist
Of course, self care is only part of the picture. Visiting the dentist every six months for a regular examination and professional cleaning is also vital. If your child is afraid of the dentist or just doesn’t like the idea of going, February is a great time to contact the dentist to see what they have planned for the month’s activities.
Many dental offices will focus on making the office especially kid-friendly during National Children’s Dental Health Month. Are there tooth-friendly treats available at the office? Special activity sheets or coloring pages available for kids to take home? Some offices even dress up or decorate to make the month extra special.
Maybe a fun visit and tour of the office that’s not accompanied by any dental procedures could make all the difference in your child’s view of going to the dentist. You’ll never know if you don’t call. To control costs of dental care for your children or your family, a dental discount card can help you save on dental care, both general and specialty, as much as 20% - 50%.