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EARLY YEARS: February is Children’s Dental Health Month

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, regular visits among children ages four and younger are down
Getting those regular dental check-ups is crucial to continued good health for kids
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:18 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Sitting in the dentist’s chair doesn’t typically rank very high when it comes to things most kids enjoy.

But it’s among the most important. Tooth decay left untreated can have a detrimental impact on children.

“Not just physical, if you’re in pain, but emotional, mental, if they’re in pain, they can’t eat properly and they can’t sleep properly. They can’t go to school and learn properly. That impact is tremendous on children,” says dentist Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds.

Dr. Reynolds is a former president of the Virginia Dental Association.

She and many other dentists are seeing fewer small children having regular checkups.

“What we’re seeing is that children, because of the pandemic, have been missing out on their general dental cleanings and the damage that can occur in a child in two or three years without dental care is tremendous,” she says.

To help highlight the importance of access to dental care this month, Virginia Dental Association members are providing free preventative and educational opportunities for vulnerable children.

Click here for more details about the Give Kids a Smile initiative.

“That’s what children’s dental health month is all about, raising awareness for caregivers, as well as educators to make sure that these children are really being seen and taken care of. The programs focus on everything from thumb sucking, to when your first dental appointment should be, to how to care for your child’s teeth, brush and floss properly,” Dr. Reynolds adds.

The lesson here... the earlier your child starts those regular dental visits, the better.

“If you start a child at 12 months, you’re really setting them up for healthy teeth and gums for the rest of their life, says Dr. Reynolds.

Need to find a dentist in your area, click here.

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