By Julianne Ward and Andrea Lam

February is national Children’s Dental Health Month which the American Dental Association sponsors to increase awareness on the importance of oral health for children. Creating healthy habits at a young age and encouraging routine oral health care, parents and caregivers can help children develop sound oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.

Did you know?

Dental caries (cavities) is the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S.?  It is five times more common than asthma, and seven times more common than hay fever.

Children with dental caries may experience:

  • Extreme pain
  • Difficulty chewing leading to improper nutrition
  • Extensive and costly dental treatment
  • Difficulty learning or focusing in class
  • Lost school days
  • Problems in speech development
  • Permanent teeth problems
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Decreased self esteem

Data has shown that 51 million school hours are lost per year from dental-related illness.

Rock Your Smile

The 2012 National Children’s Dental Health Month slogan is “ROCK YOUR SMILE.”

Here at the BPHC Office of Oral Health, we want to help parents and caregivers keep their kids “Rocking their smile!” You can give us a call at 617-534-2359, send us an email at oralhealth@bphc.org, visit our website, or check us out on Facebook.

Got questions? Here is even more information to help you keep your child’s smile healthy!

Can babies get tooth decay? answer

Kids eventually lose their baby teeth, why does it matter if they get cavities? answer

How can I take care of my child’s mouth before he or she has any teeth? answer

What are ways to prevent cavities? answer

I’ve heard that fluoride is excellent at helping to fight off cavities, what is it and how does it work? answer

My dentist said my child is at the right age for dental sealants, what are they? answer

How can I help keep my child’s adult teeth healthy? answer

What are healthy/tooth-friendly foods I can feed my toddler to promote nutrition and good oral health? answer

Why is it important to eat healthy foods to help keep my child’s teeth strong? answer

I know soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugary drinks are not good for my child’s teeth, but why? answer

Questions? Please contact the BPHC Office of Oral Health at oralhealth@bphc.org, 617-534-3673 or visit www.bphc.org/oralhealth

Julianne Ward is an intern at the BPHC Office of Oral Health from Wheelock School of Social Work. Andrea Lam is a Program Coordinator at the BPHC Office of Oral Health.

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