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NHM Health Focus:
Children's Dental Health

February 2009

    Children's Dental Health logo

For Students

 – Do you know your teeth? (ADHA)
 – Mouthpower Online (NMD)
 – Oral Health Education Database (NSDA)
 – Taking Care of Your Teeth (KidsHealth, Nemours)
 – SmileKids (Delta Dental)

Dental Health Information
 – Dental Health (MedlinePlus, NLM)
 – Oral Health Topics A-Z (ADA)

For Teachers & Parents
 – Oral Health Curriculum (ADA)
 – Classroom Ideas & Resources (ADA)
 – Educator Resources (NMD)
 – Gumming Up the Works (Science-Friday)
 – Protecting Children's Oral Health (AAP)
 – Dental Health Guide (KeepKidsHealthy.com)
 – How to Care for Your Child's Teeth (AAFP)

Dental Health Initiatives
 – Oral Health Services (HRSA
 – National Call to Action (HHS)
 – Oral Health (WHO)
 – Give Kids a Smile Day (ADA)

National Children's Dental Health Month is celebrated each year in February.

"Tooth decay (dental caries) affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems; such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning. The good news is that tooth decay and other oral diseases that can affect children are preventable. The combination of dental sealants and fluoride has the potential to nearly eliminate tooth decay in school-age children. " (CDC)

For the best possible dental health, children (as well as teens and adults) need a combination of personal and professional tooth care.

Prevention begins at home with a healthy diet and regular brushing and flossing. See How Stuff Works for a detailed description of how to brush. The included explanations may even persuade the most reluctant brushers. Proper Flossing is an illustrated set of flossing instructions posted by the The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments describes of some of the consequences of poor dental hygiene and lack of professional dental care.

Give Kids a Smile Day, (Friday, February 6, 2009) is designed to provide education, preventative and restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to care. It is one of several local, regional and national initiatives designed to help make policymakers and the general public aware of the severity of the problem and to promote efforts towards its solution.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to dental health:

Health Headquarters: Health Focus - Children's Health Month
Health Headquarters: Health Focus - Allied Health Professions
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Dental Health
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Smoking

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