February is a very special month. It is known as the love month due to Valentine’s day, which celebrates or at least reminds us to show our love for our special ones, whether it be by taking them to dinner, a movie, flowers, candy or all of the above. What most people don’t know is that February is also Children’s Dental Health Month. This celebration has been observed all monthlong across the continental USA for the last 65 years. Here in the CNMI the Seventh-day Adventist Dental Clinic is in our 14th year of observing this special month.
NCDHM is meant to bring attention and awareness about the importance of oral health. Why is this type of celebration—and year-round attention to children’s dental health—important? Because even though tooth decay can be prevented, dental cavities are still very common among our school age children. More than 40 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have had a cavity in their baby teeth, and more than two-thirds of 16-19-year-olds have had a cavity in their permanent teeth.
Despite all the efforts that have been made to decrease cavities in children, tooth decay has actually increased in preschool age children in recent years.
It is not all bad news; there are things that can be done to prevent cavities in young children. Such as;
-Have children drink water and avoid drinks with sugar.
-Give children fruits and veggies and not candy/sugar.
-Switch from bottle to sip cup by 1 year old.
-Have your child visit the dentist at least once a year.
The Seventh-day Adventist Clinic will kick off its monthlong celebration this Friday, Feb. 7, by hosting a free children’s clinic on Quartermaster Road. “Give Kids a Smile” is the name of the event that will be held from 8am to 12pm this Friday. Several hygienists from the clinic will be doing weekly dental health presentations at some elementary public schools throughout the island. The clinic will have many dental health related messages at the billboard located near Micro Toyota, as well as well as providing weekly articles for the local newspaper.
We ask the general public to help in the fight against cavities by practicing healthy habits and bringing your kids in for a free dental exam during the month of February. Please call our office at 670-234-6323 for an appointment.[I] (SDA)[/I]