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The foundation for a healthy lifelong smile begins in childhood, even in infancy. Some people think that children’s dental health doesn’t matter all that much. Baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, so it doesn’t matter if kids have cavities, right?
First, a healthy mouth allows children to speak well and eat their food without problems. In addition, baby teeth create space for permanent teeth to come in. When a tooth is lost early because of dental problems, the surrounding teeth will move in to crowd the space that is meant for the permanent tooth. As a result, severe alignment and bite issues (and involved orthodontic treatments) are likely to ensue. What’s more, if cavities in children aren’t prevented or attended to, they can grow and eventually lead to unbearable pain and dangerous infections.
The American Dental Association spearheads National Children’s Dental Health Month as a way to draw attention to these important health issues. The association provides resources to health educators, but parents can avail themselves to many of these resources, too. To download a full set of 2019 activity sheets and others from years past, go to the ADA’s National Children’s Dental Health Month page.
It is important to remember to teach kids the central idea of the campaign—2min2x—which means that good dental habits start with brushing for two minutes two times a day.