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Dental Health Month

February 6, 2024

Brush Up on Dental Hygiene During National Children’s Dental Health Month

Educators can celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month by teaching students about ways they can maintain a healthy smile.

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Fun Fact: February is recognized as National Children's Dental Health Month. This annual observance is a reminder of the importance of good oral hygiene and the impact it has on our overall health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to various dental problems such as cavities, gum disease and bad breath, as well as overall systemic illnesses in the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Tooth decay is one of the greatest unmet treatment needs among children. Pain and suffering associated with untreated dental disease can lead to problems with eating, speaking and learning.”

Educators can celebrate this annual observance by reminding students about ways they can maintain a healthy smile. Here are some tips to share with your students:

  1. Brush: Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing in circular motions. Replace your toothbrush every three months for peak effectiveness.
  2. Floss: Floss every day to remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can't reach.
  3. Regular Dental Visits: Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings with your dentist. They can detect and treat dental issues early before they become serious problems.
  4. Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, which can contribute to tooth decay.

Bonus: Check out these "Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles!" posters you can order for FREE from the American Dental Association to hang in your classroom.

To further help educators engage in this observance, Share My Lesson has put together a list of dental hygiene lesson plans and resources you can use in the classroom. Keep scrolling to view the list.

Dental Hygiene Lesson Plans and Resources

Small changes can make a big difference in one’s dental health and overall well-being. Let's smile bright and keep our teeth healthy this February and beyond!

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Megan Ortmeyer

Megan Ortmeyer is an SML Team Member and has worked in the AFT Educational Issues Department since fall 2018. She received her M.A. in education policy studies in May 2020 from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University.

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