February is Children’s Dental Health Month

Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM), in conjunction with My Community Dental Centers (MCDC) of Spalding as well as local dentists, invite residents to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month. This observance is intended to bring increased awareness of the importance of regular dental check-ups and a healthy oral hygiene routine.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five children aged five to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Children with untreated tooth decay may develop pain and infections that could lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable.

It is important to begin an oral hygiene routine early! Parents should brush their child’s teeth when they begin to come in. My Community Dental Centers in Spalding encourages parents to bring their child in for their first dental visit before the age of one. This creates a positive experience and establishes a dental home before problems may arise.

In addition to beginning an oral hygiene routine early, the American Dental Association recommends the following for a healthy smile:

– Brush teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time.

– See a dentist twice every year – start as early as when the first tooth appears.

– Drink fluoridated water – Community water supplies (CWS) may contain enough fluoride to protect your child’s teeth. – Contact your local municipality to determine if your community water supply is fluoridated or visit nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/Default.aspx. If you have well water, or live in a community without fluoridated water, consider testing your water for fluoride by contacting PHDM.

– Place only formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.

– If a child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean – don’t dip it in sugar or honey or put it in your mouth before giving it to the child.

– Serve nutritious snacks and limit sweets to mealtimes.

My Community Dental Centers, on behalf of PHDM, focuses on providing dental services to Medicaid enrollees and low-income, uninsured residents throughout Delta & Menominee Counties. Routine dental services may be covered if your child is enrolled in a Medicaid plan such as Healthy Kids, Healthy Kids Dental, or MIChild. For more information on MCDC services or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-313-6232.