As we surpass the half-way point of February, I want to take a minute to highlight the importance of National Children’s Dental Health Month. Dental caries are the most common chronic disease of childhood in the United States and more than half of children aged six to eight have experienced tooth decay. This is particularly troubling when one considers that caries are nearly 100% preventable with early intervention, using sealants and topical fluoride treatments. February gives us time to reflect on the importance of oral health education in children, the development of healthy oral care habits from a young age, and the significant role brushing and flossing play in maintaining long-term oral health.
Not only do we recognize the need for education and reinforcement of healthy habits at a young age, but we also understand the barriers created by lack of access to care for members of our community. The mission of the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation is to improve the access to, and the quality of, oral health care and education for the public and the dental communities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. This mission is in harmony with the mission of Northeast Delta Dental to increase access to oral health education and dental services for our community.
One of the organizations we support through the work of the Foundation is the New Hampshire Children’s Museum, and their month-long program on children’s dental health. The themed activities during the month of February are designed to let children learn about their teeth and dental health through interactive and multi-sensory exhibits that reinforce healthy habits. At the end of their experience they leave with a toothbrush to support the continuation of these healthy habits at home.
I encourage you to make a reservation if you are planning a visit to the museum to see this and other exciting exhibits they have for children. Or, take the time to talk with children in your life about brushing and flossing and the important role a healthy mouth plays in having a healthy body.