As the month of February begins, the Safe Kids Carroll County Coalition and the American Dental Association (ADA) will be recognizing National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM). The purpose of NCDHM is to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and others.

Each year the American Dental Association chooses a new slogan for NCDHM. Slogans from previous years include: "Join the Super Smile Team" and "Get a Gold Medal Smile". The slogan for February 2015 is "Defeat Monster Mouth". Some tips the ADA provides to defeat monster mouth and maintain good oral health include:


•Brush teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day. Brushing your teeth two times a day for two minutes each time with fluoride toothpaste can ensure that your teeth are being cleaned properly and will stay healthy. Children need brushing supervision until age 7 or 8. Flossing and Rinsing should also occur at least once a day.

•Limiting snacking to healthy snacks. High Sugar diets are a typical cause of decaying teeth. Having sugar on the teeth provides food for bacteria which produce acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth. Provide children with healthier snack options and avoid sugary food and drinks. Give only water between meals.

•Use a mouth guard when playing sports. A blow to the face can occur in almost any sport whether it be basketball, soccer, football or others. It is important to wear a mouth guard while playing sports to protect your teeth in case of an injury.

•Get rid of Oral Piercings. Piercing the tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula is not safe for the teeth whether it be with an earring or being tattooed. Since the mouth is so moist, it can allow bacteria to grow around the piercing and could cause infection in the mouth.

•Dentist Check-ups by age of 1 year old. Children are at risk of decaying teeth from the moment teeth are present. Decaying teeth can develop from recurrent and prolonged exposure of the teeth to juices, formula, milk or any liquid that contains sugar. Sippy cups can also lead to decaying of the teeth. It is encouraged that parents have their children drinking from a cup by the age of 1 years old, as well as having a dentist visit by the age of 1 years old.

For free Dental Health Month posters and more information on maintaining good oral health, visit http://www.ada.org or call the Carroll County Health Department's Oral Health Program at 410-876-4852.

Carroll County Health Department

Erin Conway- Intern