February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
The goal of NCDHM is to bring dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators together to encourage children to practice good oral health habits.
Sponsored by the American Dental Association, the theme of this year’s NCDHM campaign is “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap.”
This year also marks the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation, and the ADA is helping dentists celebrate the occasion.
What benefits does fluoridation have on drinking water?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community water fluoridation is one of the great public health achievements of the 20th Century for the following reasons:
- Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities by about 25% in children and adults.
- By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation saves money for families and the U.S. health care system.
- Oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; however, cavities are still one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.
- Community water fluoridation is the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver fluoride to everyone in a community, regardless of their age, income or education.
- Fluoridation of public water supplies is recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Public Health Service and World Health Organization.
How can I support National Children’s Dental Health month?
On their website Colgate recommends the following ways you can participate in and celebrate NCDHM:
- Schedule regular appointments with your dentist for check-ups and cleanings every six months.
- Buy a new toothbrush every three to four months.
- Explore the coloring pages and online activities offered by the American Dental Association.
- If you’re a parent, start supervising your child when they’re brushing their teeth.
- Post something that shows support of NCDHM on your social media pages.
What are some book parents can use to teach their children good oral hygiene habits?
Amazon recommends the following books that approach oral hygiene in a manner that appeals to children:
“Brush Your Teeth, Max and Millie” by Felicity Brooks
“Pony Brushes his Teeth” by Michael Dahl
“Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque & Teeth” by Dr. Ben Magleby
“Brush, Brush, Brush!” By Alicia Padron
“Brush Your Teeth Please” by Jean Pidgeon
Where can I learn how to become a dental hygienist?
In only two years students can graduate from Hocking College’s Dental Hygiene program with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree.
Located at Hocking College’s Perry Campus in New Lexington, Ohio, this new Dental Hygiene program offers students the required training in general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and dental hygiene sciences they’ll need to success
Students who successfully complete this program will be eligible to take their national and regional board exams and their state laws exams in order to become a registered dental hygienist.
What skills will I learn in this program?
Students who enroll in Hocking College’s Dental Hygiene program will obtain the following skills:
- How to remove hard and soft deposits from patient’s teeth.
- How to use an ultrasonic scaler to clean/polish patient’s teeth.
- How to apply sealants and fluoride to patient’s teeth.
- How to assess a patient’s oral health.
- How to report any important findings to a dentist.
- How to document every patient’s ongoing treatment and care.
- How to advise patients on their oral health habits including brushing, flossing and the use of appropriate dental hygiene aids.
- How to advise every patient on proper oral health home care, including brushing, flossing, and
the use of appropriate aids.
- How to expose and assess radiographs.
- How to understand the oral health needs of specific age groups.
- How to administer local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation and other pain management techniques.