The month of February marks an important time on our calendars at Hawaii Dental Service. It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time when parents and practitioners, teachers and toddlers work together to share why good oral health is important. This month-long national health observance gives us a chance to get on a kid’s level to explain why a healthy mouth matters. Our Healthy Smiles oral health coloring book was designed just for this occasion! Use word searches, word scrambles, coloring pages, and more to help get your kids familiar with the basic principles of oral health. And share their creations with us on social media!
Plus, you’ll find a handy brushing and flossing chart to pin up in the kids’ bathroom. This way, they can be proud of a whole week of checks from brushing day and night!
So, why does a healthy mouth matter?
Brushing and flossing every day will help get rid of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria cause decay by breaking down the sugars and starches from foods into acids, attacking the enamel on your teeth.
Clean teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath are good indication you have good oral health. If your dental health is poor, it can affect your overall health and nutrition. Proper dental care is important for both adults and children.
Keep the gleam in your grin with the following dental health basics:
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods high in sugar or starch — they tend to stick to your teeth. Drink plenty of water every day.
- Brush gently at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush, paying special attention to the gum line.
- Floss at least once a day. You can also use an interdental cleaner—a special pick or brush you use between your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or earlier if it’s worn out.
- Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams. Don’t ignore tender gums, sensitive teeth, or other mouth problems. They can become serious if left untreated. Find a dentist near you!
For more tips on getting your kids interested in their oral health, check out: