What started in 1941 as a single-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. The American Dental Association held its inaugural national observance of Children's Dental Health Day back on February 8, 1949, becoming a weeklong event in 1955, and finally a month-long jubilee in 1981—earning its current moniker: National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
Now a special month of national health observance, NCDHM brings together thousands of dedicated dental health professionals and educators to promote the myriad benefits of excellent oral health to children, parents, caregivers, teachers, and more.
Why National Children’s Dental Health Month matters
Every February, dental health professionals help raise awareness of how important it is for children to develop excellent oral health habits from a young age to ensure a happy life of healthy smiles. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children have their first dental exam no later than their first birthday to head off any possible early dental health challenges.
Annual focus on the importance of dental care for children helps shine a light on key areas of prevention for parents to review with their child's dental health professional like tooth decay, fluoride use, pacifier, and thumb-sucking behaviors, helping kids brush most effectively, and more.
What makes 2021’s National Children’s Dental Health Month celebration special?
“Water: Nature’s Drink!” is the 2021 campaign slogan chosen by the American Dental Association to promote the healthiest beverage around: H20. With so many American children consuming increasing amounts of sugary fruit juice and sports drinks, the American Academy of Pediatrics has expressed escalating concern about the role these sugar-filled beverages play in childhood obesity and tooth decay. The organization pushed back their recommended "start-time" for juice from six months of age to one-year-old in 2017—though they advocate for avoiding, or at least limiting, juice, if not cutting it outright.
The 2021 NCDHM message shines a light on drinking more water, as about half of all children in the United States are impacted by tooth decay by the time they enter Kindergarten—resulting in over 34 million school hours lost each year due to preventable dental problems.
quip and myFace.org
quip is partnering with myFace.org to celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month and raise funds for this exceptional organization dedicated to transforming the lives of children and adults with craniofacial conditions. myFace has a robust educational outreach program predicated on empathy, celebrating uniqueness, and choosing kindness, which we want to help support.
The myFace Center provides comprehensive care in a multidisciplinary setting for patients who require reconstructive plastic surgery, also making available convenient housing to out-of-town patients and families receiving care at the center.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academic Pediatric Association, 81 percent of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) were found to need preventive dental care, and 24 percent as needing other dental care in the past twelve months.
Dental care was second only to prescription medications in terms of need. Overall, the study found that among 579,477 children, or 8.9% of children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN), were unable to obtain dental care. Relative to other health care categories, unmet dental care need was the most common unmet need for CSCHCN.
For these reasons and more, quip is proud to give back and partner with such a seminal organization dedicated to aiding those with more severe dental and maxillofacial challenges.
Download 2021 National Children’s Dental Health Month posters and activity sheets for kids to help promote this year’s theme, like coloring sheets, mazes, crossword puzzles, many of which are available in Spanish.
Free publications from the National Institutes of Health, which include material on tooth decay, baby teeth, and finding low-cost dental health care.