February 1, 2012 marked the start of National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), National Children’s Dental Health Month was initiated in order to raise greater awareness regarding dental health and the importance of good maintenance. This initiative has helped to spread the message of developing good oral hygiene skills at a young age. The hope is that by starting healthy dental habits so young, life-long habits will form. Because of the high cost of dental coverage, and health care in general, many people choose to neglect their dental hygiene. It has become a matter of choosing which is more important for many families; eating or getting a tooth pulled? Now, with National Children’s Dental Health Month, many children will be able to receive the care they need at no cost to their parents.
One of the major events that will be occurring this month will be the 10th annual Give Kids a Smile Day. This corporate funded event takes place on the first Friday of the month and is spearheaded by dental health professionals around the country. On Give Kids A Smile Day, children from low-income families across the country will receive free dental services. Kids will be able get dental screenings and exams, x-rays, cleanings and fillings. In addition to providing these important and necessary services to deserving families, organizers also hope to bring greater awareness to government officials and law-makers about the seriousness of how hard families are struggling with finding adequate and affordable dental care. Over 1500 events are planned for February 3, with an estimated 405,398 children expected to participate. 9500 dentists will be providing services with the help of over 29, 577 volunteers.
During the entire month, the American Dental Association will also be providing free resources to dental health providers to place in their businesses. Information is also available to teachers for presentations in their classrooms. There are links for teachers that provide information about arranging for speakers to come to their schools and speak to children about oral care. Parents, and anyone else interested, will be able to benefit from the information on the website as well. To find out more about National Children’s Dental Health Month, including how to print activity sheets, pamphlets, and locations of events, visit the website at http://www.ada.org. Also available to download are posters with the 2012 slogan, Rock Your Smile, which children are sure to love.
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