February may be drawing to a close now and many of its most memorable holidays are already history. But, it’s not too late to honor one more important designation, and that is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Pediatric dentists and healthcare professionals have named February as NCDHM, in hopes of creating awareness of the need for pediatric dental care, and also to educate both kids and adults about how to best protect young smiles. This year’s initiative is a particularly simple way to protect children’s dental health, and that is by drinking more tap water!
What Is NCDHM All About?
Organizers created NCDHM in an attempt to help parents better understand the role preventive dental care and healthy habits should play in helping to protect kids’ smiles, and also to get kids more excited about caring for their own teeth and gums.
This year, the primary objective is to educate kids about the importance of drinking water, and specifically how tap water can help to prevent cavities. Most American cities add fluoride to the tap water, which is an organic compound that helps to defend against tooth demineralization.
Drinking more water helps protect the smile in a number of ways:
- Water helps the body to produce saliva, which naturally limits plaque bacteria’s ability to calcify onto the surface of teeth. This can reduce risk of cavities, and also gum disease.
- Water helps prevent chronic dry mouth, which can create bad breath, and later a host of dental problems.
- Drinking water instead of sugary beverages, including sodas and many fruit juices, helps limit the smile’s exposure to sugar as well as acidity, both of which can be dangerous to one’s smile.
To help your kids get excited about oral care, be sure to visit the American Dental Association’s website for kid-friendly items like coloring pages, highlighting this year’s NCDHM mission.
If you have questions about children’s dentistry, or how to best protect your kids’ smiles, then contact your Silver City, NM family dentist, Dr. Bonura, by calling (575) 534-3699.