Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children's Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949. This single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children's Dental Health Month.
Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. NCDHM messages reach millions of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed service bases abroad. Local observances often include poster, coloring, and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations and dental office tours
Keeping a healthy smile starts with your child's first tooth. February is a good time to make sure your kids have regular checkups and are brushing two to three times a day. The American Dental Association recommends that children have their first visit to a dentist by the time they get their first tooth or by the time they are a year old.
Whether you're a member of the dental team, a teacher or a parent, You can find free online resources that can help you with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom and coloring and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. We have posted some activities below:
Crafts to Make:
- Draw an open mouth shape on paper, outline the mouth with pink glue (gums), and stick white beans onto the glue (teeth).
- Make a collage using pictures of mouths cut out of magazines.
- Try your hand at Toothbrush Painting.
Other Things to do:
- Do you know why we need teeth?
- What do you think would happen if you never used a toothbrush to clean your teeth?
- Have you ever lost any teeth? Do you know why?
- Why are teeth important?
- Take a field trip to a dentist office.
- Go to the store and pick out your own sample-size toothpaste and toothbrush.
Sign up to receive our series of white papers detailing a dental practice strategy for National Children's Dental Health Month.