February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and Dr. Peter Merai, the staff at Comprehensive Dental Care of Oxon Hill and the American Dental Association ask all parents to encourage their kids to practice good dental health!

This year’s slogan is “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”

Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is very important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper attention and care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong throughout their entire life,” says Dr. Merai. 80% of tooth decay in the United States is suffered by 25% of the children, according to the National Institutes of Health. The American Dental Association created National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to raise awareness about the importance of good dental health for all children, youth and teens.

According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18% of children ages two to four have experienced tooth decay, and nearly one out of six have untreated tooth decay. By age 17, more than 7% of children have lost at least one permanent tooth due to decay. In Maryland, 31% of kindergarten and third grade children have tooth decay that, if it remains untreated, causes pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure good oral health for your child:

  • Schedule a regular dental cleaning and appointment with your local dentist.
  • Encourage your children to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.
  • Talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants. They protect teeth from decay.
  • If you are pregnant, get prenatal care and eat a healthy diet. The diet should include folic acid.
  • Encourage your children to brush and floss two times a day.
  • Print out some dental fun and games for “infotainment.”

The ADA reminds parents and caregivers about the importance of good oral hygiene habits not only in February, but all year long. If you or your child is overdue for an exam and cleaning, please call our Oxon Hill dental office today at 301-567-9844. Easter break is right around the corner, and is a great time to bring your kids in for an exam and cleaning!

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