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Children and Dental Health

Release Date: February 28, 2024

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of good oral hygiene. Though preventable, cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood. Untreated cavities can cause pain, infections, and can lead to problems eating, speaking, and learning. More than one in five children between the ages of two and five has at least one cavity in their baby teeth.

Remember the PEARLS method to protect your child’s teeth:

  • Protect tiny teeth by caring for your mouth when you are expecting. Your child’s healthy habits start with you.
  • Ensure to wipe your baby’s gums after each meal.
  • Avoid putting babies to bed with a bottle.
  • Remember to brush your child’s teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. For children younger than 2 years, consult with your dentist or doctor about when to start using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Limit drinks and food with added sugars for children. Encourage your child to eat more fruits and vegetables and have fewer fruit drinks, cookies, and candy. This gives your child the best possible start to good oral health.
  • Schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday or after their first tooth appears. Their tiny teeth matter!

For additional resources and information on childhood dental hygiene, visit the CDC’s Children’s Dental Health page.

Last Updated: 02/28/2024
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