February is National Children’s Oral Health Month
The Dentistry clinic and Pediatric departments at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will once again join together to help educate children and their parents about the importance of good oral health and its impact on systemic health. And this year they’re getting some help from HCMC’s bigger-than-life mascot, Bernie the Rescue Dog, who will visit with children in the Dentistry and Pediatric waiting rooms every Monday throughout the month of February to demonstrate good brushing habits.
Encouraging good home health habits is critical in breaking the oral disease chain in families. This includes teaching families how to properly feed their children; minimizing saliva transmission from parent to child; promoting good nutrition; and establishing strong tooth-brushing habits. It also involves working with families to help them establish a dental home and seek routine, preventive care.
According to Healthy People 2020, tooth decay (dental caries) affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems; such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
If your child has not had a dental examination, pediatric dentist Dr. Patricia Tarren and pediatrician Dr. Eileen Crespo recommend that you schedule a “well baby checkup” for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association says that it is beneficial for the first dental visit to occur within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday. To schedule an appointment, call 612.873.6963.