If you didn’t already know, February is National Children’s Dental Month (NCDHM). This month-long observance of promoting the benefits of good oral health to children and their guardians is sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Celebrating NSDHM in February makes more sense than you think. February is a transitional month and the real first breath of fresh air post the holiday season. Being only the second month of the year, it supports starting the year with healthy habits for good oral hygiene. The meaning of February stems from the Latin word ebruarius, from Latin februare meaning to “purify” or “expiate.” A perfect correlation between the month and the observance of NCDHM.
Cleveland, Ohio, is credited with starting this cause back in 1941 as a one-day event1. In 1949, the ADA took over sponsorship and held the first national observance of the day. The program grew to a weeklong event in 1955 and later to a monthly celebration in 1981.
So what does this mean for today’s dental professionals? Use this month to not only educate your young patients on maintaining proper oral hygiene but educate yourself and staff on the best workflows and treatment options currently available for adolescent patients.
Besides learning what tech is out there for best practice, talk with your patients and their guardians to get an inside understanding of how their experience is and how you can make it even better. Treating young patients comes with its own set of responsibilities, not only are you keeping them on track for maintaining their oral health, but you are also forging their attitudes toward future dental habits. No pressure there, right?
Providing young patients with a positive experience in the dental chair today will help provide a solid foundation for sustaining good oral health as an adult. This point could be validated when you take a look at the top five states that rank highest in the percentage of children with the healthiest teeth. In order, they are New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island. South Dakota, and Vermont2. Then cross-reference with these states that rank the highest in adult oral health, and the list is pretty identical3.
Utilize the ADA’s website that has free resources to help dental offices celebrate and bring awareness of NCDHM to their patients. Learn about current tech that is designed specifically for smaller mouths as well as omits lower radiation exposures. Check out PSP technology, such as ScanX, that utilizes PSP that are 30x thinner than traditional sensors. That thinness makes a massive difference for your young patients.
The bottom line, this NCDHM be conscious of taking a higher mind to focus on the entire picture of children’s dental health. Their oral habits, office experience, and what you and your practice can invest in to ensure you are providing specialized treatment. These essential attributes will all collate into a positive experience for your patient’s oral health today, tomorrow, and future care.