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February: National Children’s Dental Health Month

Every year since 1941, the American Dental Association and dentists across the nation have focused on the oral health of America’s children during the month of February. What started out as a small local initiative in Cleveland, Ohio, has grown into a nationwide effort to help children and their caregivers improve their oral health routines through educational and entertaining events and materials. Each year, a new campaign slogan and focus is chosen; this year's is: "Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile."

Fluoride Toothpaste Helps Prevent Cavities 

It can be difficult to choose a toothpaste for your children. Looking for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance can help make it easier. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain fluoride and don’t contain any flavorings that could contribute to tooth decay.

Fluoride is sometimes referred to as nature’s cavity fighter because it helps make the outer protective layer of teeth, called enamel, stronger. It can even help remineralize weaker teeth and reverse minor tooth decay during its earliest stages.

The ADA recommends using toothpaste with fluoride in various amounts depending on the child’s age. For children under 3, use a tiny bit no bigger than the size of a grain of rice as soon as teeth begin appearing. For children ages 3 to 6, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Since young children are likely to swallow toothpaste, brushing with fluoride toothpaste should always be done under adult supervision to minimize ingestion.

Flossing Is More Important Than Many Realize 

Teaching kids the importance of flossing from an early age will help them develop healthy habits that last long into adulthood. There are many varieties of flossing products available today that make it easier for kids to maneuver the floss and even make it look fun! Sometimes getting children involved in the process helps them get excited about things. Try taking your child, or children, to the store with you and letting them pick out their new floss. You can watch videos together online about proper flossing techniques for kids, and there are even books that help kids get informed and excited about their oral hygiene.

If your child is due for a checkup, or you have any questions about their oral hygiene routine, call Dr. Buck’s office today at 206-316-8286.

 

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