National Children’s Dental Health Month Published Feb. 25, 2020 By Staff Sgt. Myron Little 325th Medical Group TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Every year in February, dentists and children’s organizations across the United States promote National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year, the American Dental Association is celebrating 75 years of water fluoridation. The campaign slogan for this year is, “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!” The ADA is encouraging children to drink fluoridated water from the tap, while properly brushing and flossing to make an effective tooth team. Dental cavities or caries is the most common chronic disease of children six to 19 years old. Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among older children. This can lead to hours of missed school and less than comfortable experiences with a dentist. Dental cavities are largely preventable. To raise awareness and promote good oral health among children, thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and educators come together for this month-long national health observance. Good oral hygiene habits can go a long way in helping children develop a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. There are some steps (parents can) take to ensure that (their child gets) started on the right path to great oral health. The first step recommends scheduling the child’s initial dental visit some time between the arrival of their first tooth and their first birthday. Second, limit the use of baby bottle feeding especially for long periods such as during sleeping time. This helps prevent early childhood cavities which is quite common among babies. Third, brush and floss together to help create solid habits. Lastly, don’t skip yearly dental visits. Prevention is the best method to help kids create healthy smiles. For more information or questions regarding National Children’s Dental Health Month or oral hygiene, call the 325th Medical Group dental clinic at (850) 283-7444.