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National Children’s Dental Health Month teaches children oral hygiene and dental care
(Little Rock, Ark.) – February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which promotes the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers. This month, the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health (ADH OOH) will supply oral health kits to the Arkansas State Library to share with partner libraries statewide. Community Health Promotion Specialists and Community Health Nurse Specialists will offer oral health education activities and oral health kits to public schools.
“Brushing teeth and flossing daily at a young age can serve children for their whole lives. Healthy teeth allow children to speak clearly, chew healthy foods, and smile with confidence,” said Dr. Rachel Sizemore, Director of the ADH OOH. “Kids are used to learning important lessons in schools and libraries, making oral health education in those settings a natural fit.”
Tooth and mouth pain in childhood not only affects the mouth. It also leads to missed school days, impacting learning and academic success. Poor oral health in childhood has also been linked to increased risk factors for artery hardening in adulthood.
Brushing teeth and flossing daily are the simplest ways to prevent oral problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental visits are also necessary to fix oral health issues that may develop.
The mission of the ADH Office of Oral Health is to ensure lifelong oral health for all Arkansans. This involves primary prevention, education, accessible and culturally competent community-based oral health care, and informed policy development.