Brush, Floss, Smile!
Smile! February is National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM) - a great time to promote the benefits of good oral hygiene, because developing good dental health habits (including regular dental visits) helps children get a jump start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
The American Dental Association has chosen this year's campaign slogan to be "Brush, Floss, Smile!" Visit the 2023 NCDHM Campaign website to download posters and activity sheets for kids (like a coloring sheet and a crossword puzzle), many of which are available in Spanish.
The National Institutes of Health provides free publications including material on baby teeth, tooth decay, and finding low cost dental care.
Resources for Sharing
The Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center shares free, downloadable resources that provide tips and tools (including a children's book) to help families ensure that good oral health begins in infancy, including:
- Cook's Corner: Recipes for Healthy Snacks
- A Healthy Mouth for Your Baby, also available in a version for American Indians and Alaska Natives
- A Healthy Smile for Your Young Child: Tips to Keep Your Child Healthy
- Potter the Otter: A Tale About Water
- Healthy Smiles: Oral Health Webinar for Spanish-Speaking Parents
The American Academy of Pediatrics (healthychildren.org) suggests that families add a dental professional as a resource to their support system, and shares articles on topics including:
- Bottlemouth Syndrome
- Diet Tips to Prevent Dental Problems
- Brush, Book, and Bed: How to Structure Your Child’s Nighttime Routine
Learning and Training Resources
The WIC Works Resource System features a number of resources for WIC staff to learn about and educate WIC participants on oral health, such as:
- Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start - guidelines for establishing good dental health for infants
- Oral Health in Infants, Children and Pregnant Women - a collection of education and information resources, some available in up to 11 different languages
- Open Wide: Oral Health Training for Professionals - self-study modules to help WIC staff promote oral health
- Eye on Nutrition: Calcium - information about this important mineral, including its role in tooth development, as well as a list of WIC-eligible foods containing calcium