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Children should develop good oral care habits early on
Updated: 2/4/2011 6:59:53 PM

Children should develop good oral care habits early on. Many children from low-income families may not be in a position to receive regular dental care. These kids may develop poor oral health that will affect their overall well-being. For example, tooth pain can cause problems with sleeping and eating, and individuals with damaged teeth may suffer socially.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly 50 percent of American children between the ages of 12 and 15 are affected by tooth decay.

The advent of National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM) highlights the need for parents to help their children establish positive attitudes towards oral healthcare.

If parents can instill a sense of the importance of preventive oral care techniques, their kids may develop consistent, healthy habits.

In honor of NCDHM, the American Dental Association (ADA) has started a few initiatives on healthy smiles and the need for daily brushing and flossing. The ADA is providing a wealth of information online for parents and teachers. By visiting the organization's website, they can familiarize themselves with the organization's basic recommendations for preventing instances of tooth decay, including brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day and eating a diet low in refined sugars.

The ADA is also holding the Give Kids a Smile events nationwide, which provide free dental screenings, cleanings and fillings to underserved populations. An estimated 45,000 dentists will help treat nearly 400,000 children. 

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