It’s National Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month!

02/06/2013

The American Dental Association annually raises the awareness for children’s dental health in February.  Dentistry has made great strides to improving the health for children and adults alike.  A healthier mouth equals a healthier body.  An improved healthy smile also helps with your children’s self esteem.

However, according to the Center for Disease Control, cavities are still the number one chronic disease in children.  Brushing your children’s teeth twice a day is NOT enough.  Eating healthier snacks between meals is NOT enough.  Since it only takes seven minutes for cavities to start, it is important to realize this.  It is important to teach your children about the Seven Minute Window.

According to the US Surgeon General’s Report from the year 2000, millions of hours of school are missed annually due to dental problems in children.  It is difficult for children to concentrate when they are suffering with pain or swelling. Photo Credit: Jay Yohe

I find that school teachers are well intentioned when it comes to our children’s well being.  However, there are snacks given out in class daily used to reward positive behaviors.  These snacks contain acids that promote cavities quickly.  I should know for one of my children had over 10 cavities this past year from school snacks.  Teachers and children do not realize that it only takes seven minutes them to start getting cavities.

Here Are 5 Smile Tips For Improved Dental Health for Your Elementary-Aged Child:

1. Teach your children about the Seven Minute Window.  Repeat the lesson for 21 days.  After 21 days, have them teach you daily about the Seven Minute Window for another 21 days.

2. Bring a dental health kit to school that includes:

  • Toothbrus
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Water

3. Your child should brush and rinse after ever snack in school.  If they cannot brush, the next most practical action is to rinse with water for seven seconds.

4. Have your child insist that they be able to properly clean their mouth after EVERY snack.  If not, they may easily get new cavities.

5. Hold a discussion with your child’s teachers to let them know about the Seven Minute Window and the importance of mouth brushing after EVERY snack while in school daily.

 

Here’s to a healthy 2013 for all of our children!


Dr. Joe Kravitz is a dental expert who specializes in fixing people’s mouths with fillings, inlays, crowns, veneers, dentures and implants. He is on a quest to get people to think about oral health.

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