Tooth decay is a major health problem that affects many children and can lead to school absenteeism. This February, National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) raises awareness about the importance of dental health for children. In response to this, Nevada County Public Health offers a Local Oral Health Program (LOHP) to improve dental health for residents.
The LOHP focuses on preventing tooth decay in children through education, resources, and school-based screenings. The program helps families establish healthy oral health routines to ensure the well-being of children in the district. During NCDHM, LOHP will offer sealants to third grade students for the first time as part of its school-based oral health program. This will help protect their back teeth and reduce cavities by 80%.
Third graders are a priority for the program because this is the age when molars come out and they become more responsible for oral hygiene. LOHP staff also provide oral health education during screenings by showing students how to properly brush and floss.
In addition to brushing and flossing, cavity prevention requires regular checkups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants. By expanding programs and making preventive services available, LOHP helps remove barriers to good oral health for children and families in Nevada County.
To celebrate NCDHM, here are some oral health tips that can be found on the Nevada County Facebook and Instagram pages:
1. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste or use mouthwash with fluoride daily.
2. Floss every day before bedtime or after eating sugary snacks or drinks.
3. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist.
4. Avoid sugary snacks or drinks between meals or before bedtime as they can cause tooth decay.
5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth moisturized and promote saliva production which naturally washes away bacteria from your teeth and gums