Dental Health Valentines are flying to parents and children-at least symbolically-for the entire month. Did you know the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has declared February as National Children’s Dental Health Month? For us, Dental Health Valentine translates into lots of love for tiny teeth.
Dental Health Valentines from the AAPD
The AAPD chose the month of February to urge parents to help keep little teeth healthy. You might not know the identity of AAPD, but they are the leading authority in children’s dental health. So, we often quote them on this blog and refer you to their expertise on dental health problems. We think it’s rather wonderful that they dedicated this particular month of friendship and love to your child’s dental health.
Valentines with Dental Health at Heart
When the health and welfare of children’s teeth are at risk, the AAPD is the first to advocate for children. In fact, the very core of the AAPD is educating and advocating for children’s dental health. They also educate and inform policymakers, parents, guardians, and other health care professionals about dental matters and children’s health.
Additionally, the association fosters research. Likewise, dentists look to them for continuing professional education. Therefore, they don’t hesitate to investigate the facts and figures behind dental problems. For example, they are the ones who surveyed and discovered that “only one in four parents are taking their child to the dentist by his or her first birthday…”As you know leading health experts have been recommending that age for a number of years. Why?
Dental Health Valentines: How to Head off Dental Decay
As we have stated previously in Dentistry for Children blogs, year 1 is the best time to have your child’s first dental visit. You will establish a dental home for your child and you and your pediatric dentist can prevent risk to the child’s oral and general health. We have long believed that “Delaying children’s oral health care routines can cause tooth decay…” Such a delay gives rise to the “Mouth Monsters.” And if we do not establish dental health at a very early age, decay can cause compromises in:
- general health,
- oral development,
- and quality of life.
Dental Health Valentines: to Spread the Word
So, throughout the Valentine month, we are campaigning to make families more aware of children’s dental health. So, here are our three Valentine’s to all families. And they all celebrate the love of dental health:
Valentine Message Number One
The first of our dental Valentines brings you the message “Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent childhood health concerns, but is entirely preventable.”
We send you this message because many parents still cling to the myth that cavities are part of childhood. We symbolically send you a big red heart-shaped February Valentine’s message. This message should remind you that the painful affliction of dental decay does not have to be part of your child’s life. In fact, it is a 100% preventable disease.
Thus pediatric dentists want to begin fighting dental disease in the cradle. Let us check out the dental health risks to your child, even before the first tooth erupts. Call our office any time previous to your child’s first birthday and we will help you schedule that vital first dental appointment before his or her big day.
Valentine Message Number Two:
We wish we could hang a little heart-shaped note on every bathroom mirror. It would say: Avoid Mouth Monsters, like Tooth D.K., Tartar the Terrible and Ginger Bite-Us! Brush little teeth twice a day. Floss as soon as teeth touch, to paraphrase AAPD President Dr. Kevin Donly. Where is a parent supposed to go to find help to fight for cavity freedom? We suggest you visit the Mouthmonsters, created at the online resource of My Children’s Teeth.
Become a dental health superhero to your child by knowing the facts on helping him or her become cavity-free.
At Dentistry for children, we are out to help defeat the statistic that caries (tooth decay) is the number one Childhood chronic disease. It has become less prevalent in recent years. However, one in five children under the age of 5 has experienced it. And we must say sincerely, it can be a very sad experience for us to meet a four-year-old child with six painful cavities in those tiny teeth and tears in his eyes.
A Very Special Valentine to Parents of Children with Special Needs
We could not celebrate the month of love without recognizing a very special group of patients here at Dentistry for Children. Parents of children with special needs shoulder special challenges in dental health. We realize children with special needs are in a high-risk category for oral health conditions. Health experts say, “81 percent of children with special healthcare needs require some kind of preventive dental care…” Plus, we add, sadly, “dental care is often the most unmet health need for children with special healthcare needs.” We take this opportunity to commend all parents who meet the dental needs of their special needs child with compassion.
Toothsome Take-Aways from our Dental Health Valentines
So let’s celebrate Valentine’s month with less valentine sugar and more awareness and appreciation for children’s dental health.
And we invite you to keep track of other AAPD associated announcements and recommendations through their online resources as well as our blog. And help your children get a “crush on their brush” for Valentine’s Day.