National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), observed annually in February, is a critical initiative dedicated to promoting oral health among our youngest generation. Kids under the age of 5 are particularly vulnerable to dental issues, making early intervention and preventive measures essential.
The educators and team at Children’s Campus, a 5-star preschool in Greenville, NC are exploring the significance of NCDHM for children under 5 and sharing vital information on dental health basics tailored to this age group.
NCDHM was established by the American Dental Association (ADA) to address the alarming dental health statistics among young children.
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions in kids, and untreated dental issues can lead to discomfort, pain, and difficulties in eating and speaking.
NCDHM provides an opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about the critical role of oral health in young children. It emphasizes the importance of early dental care habits.
Early intervention and preventive measures are vital in reducing dental problems in this age group. NCDHM encourages regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and the adoption of good oral hygiene practices from the start.
The month-long celebration raises awareness not only among parents but also within communities, schools, and healthcare institutions, emphasizing that oral health is crucial for children’s overall well-being.
The foundation for good dental health begins even before the first tooth emerges. For infants, it’s crucial to establish oral hygiene practices that set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Start by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding to remove any milk residue.
As the first tooth makes its appearance, usually around six months, transition to using a soft, child-sized toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
Encourage your baby to embrace this new routine and ensure that all tooth surfaces are cleaned. Remember to never put your baby to bed with a bottle containing sugary liquids, as this can lead to tooth decay. By instilling these early habits, you pave the way for a lifetime of good oral health for your little one.
Toddlers are inquisitive and eager to learn, making it an ideal time to reinforce positive dental health habits.
By age one, your child should have their first dental check-up. Continue using a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for brushing, ensuring that you guide them in developing proper brushing techniques.
Encourage your toddler to brush their teeth twice a day and supervise to ensure thorough cleaning. Limit sugary snacks and beverages in their diet, especially before bedtime, to reduce the risk of tooth decay. As your child’s baby teeth continue to emerge, monitor their development and address any concerns with your dentist.
Teaching these habits early not only promotes dental health but also sets the stage for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
Pre-k age children are at a stage in life where they’re developing independence, making it an opportune time to reinforce dental health practices.
Encourage your preschooler to brush their teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and teach them to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. Supervise brushing sessions to ensure they’re reaching all tooth surfaces.
Emphasize the importance of a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting sugary snacks and drinks, especially before bedtime. Consider dental sealants to protect their teeth from cavities and maintain regular dental check-ups every six months.
Address any thumb-sucking or teeth-grinding habits that may be affecting their dental health. By instilling these habits during the preschool years, you’re equipping your child with the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of excellent dental health and radiant smiles.
As we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, we invite you to explore Children’s Campus’s programs and resources for children under 5. Take an active role in NCDHM events and activities, and share this blog post with others to spread awareness about the significance of dental health for our youngest generation. Let’s work together to ensure that our little ones embark on a journey of a lifetime with healthy, bright smiles.
Children’s Campus, with its unwavering commitment to supporting NCDHM and promoting dental health among its little learners, stands as a beacon of excellence in early childhood education.
Contact us today to schedule a tour of our Greenville campus or to inquire about our early childhood programs enrollment by calling (252) 756-8200 or filling out the contact form below to get started.