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Safe Kids Carroll: ‘Fluoride in water prevents cavities’ and other dental tips to tap into

The Carroll County Health Department’s Oral Health Program, with its partners the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health and the American Dental Association is proud to announce February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year’s focus is, Fluoride in water prevents cavities.”

In honor of the program, the slogan for the 2020 National Children’s Dental Health Month is “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!”

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The purpose of this campaign is to emphasize the importance of fluoride as a supplement to proper oral hygiene. Many of our communities have ideal amounts of fluoride in the drinking water making getting the right amount as simple as drinking from the tap. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also important, especially if your water doesn’t have ideal amounts of fluoride.

Healthy smiles are an important part of good overall health. Always remember that regardless of your water’s fluoride status, poor oral hygiene can cause a child to have problems eating, speaking, learning, and can lead to more serious health issues.

We thank you for joining us in helping children develop good oral health habits at an early age.

· Our dental clinic is seeing children under the age of 18 and appointments are available for those who qualify with Maryland Healthy Smiles insurance.

· Dental disease can be transmitted from family members to children, so it is important for mothers to maintain their oral health to aid in prevention of dental decay in their children.

· Young children who don’t even have teeth yet need to have their mouths cleaned on a daily basis and those who have even one tooth should see the dentist for an evaluation and discussion regarding diet and oral cleaning routines.

· We are now seeing pregnant women with Maryland Healthy Smiles insurance. Dental decay is a problem during pregnancy and good oral health care helps the mother have a healthier pregnancy and healthier baby.

· Adults with financial limitations are not left out of our programs. We have a program called “Dental Access” in which a person who falls below the 185% of the Federal Poverty level, has no dental insurance and lives in Carroll County can qualify for a 35% discount at their local dentist.

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· The Health Department is available to assist with the referral of those who are currently using tobacco products and wish to quit.

There are many online resources available for families to learn more about dental health. Adults and children can visit the Maryland Office of Oral Health website at phpa.health.maryland.gov for downloadable information, activity sheets, brochures, resources and interactive games.

Other helpful resources are found at www.mouthhealthykids.org from the American Dental Association and www.healthyteethhealthykids.org from the Maryland Dental Action Coalition.

For further information about any of our Health Department programs or for a clinic appointment please call us at 410-876-4918.

Thomas H Downs, DDS, is the manager of the Oral Health Program at the Carroll County Health Department.

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