Easy ways to promote Children's Dental Health Month
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Easy ways for dentists to promote Children’s Dental Health Month

Each year the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month. The annual campaign encourages dental and other health care professionals to promote the benefits of good oral health care to children and their caregivers. This national health observance brings together thousands of professionals and providers to educate on the importance of oral hygiene from a very early age.

Each year the ADA develops themes and free materials for dental professionals and educators to use throughout the month. Some of these free resources include flyers, postcards, posters, a planning guide, resources for publicizing messages, events and activities, activity sheets, along with additional materials you can purchase. They all can be found on the ADA website in one convenient location.

The planning guide is a wonderful resource to begin your Dental Health Month plans. It provides a suggested timeline of when to start planning classroom visits and what to do when reaching out, plus topics and guides of what can be included within the presentations.

The ADA and other organizations offer many suggestions for activities and educational opportunities in which dentists may participate in National Children’s Dental Health Month. Below are some easy ways your practice can participate during the month.

Contact:

  • Organize a dental health screening at schools, clinics, churches, or community centers. Once the details are confirmed, make sure to announce it in a press release to local newspapers, radio, and television stations. Look to provide fun take-home materials for children.
  • A classroom visit is a great way to get involved in promoting oral health to students of all ages. Reach out to the school health professional, classroom teacher, or the school administrator to plan. While at the school, it is a great opportunity to distribute personalized toothbrushes, toothpaste, or floss with your logo and contact information.
  • Reach out to new parents by speaking at childbirth classes and parent-teacher organization meetings. In addition, try to provide new parents with dental health packets for newborns, so they have information on hand. Partner with obstetricians and pediatricians to display pamphlets or posters in their reception areas. This helps to reach parents and enlist support from other healthcare professionals.
  • Participate in a local health fair at malls, community centers, hospitals, schools, park districts, or clinics. Dental health exhibits can feature posters, mouth models, literature, and hands-on demonstrations to get the audience involved. Include a small giveaway, like personalized toothbrushes or lip balms, that visitors can take and features your dental practice’s name and information.

No-contact:

  • Create an oral health bulletin board at schools, libraries, clinics, and community centers. The board could include brochures, tips, health messages, and a list of resources for dental health.
  • Sponsor a display or exhibit at the local library. The display could include posters, dental messages, photos of children receiving oral health exams, dental equipment, dental care products and mouth models.
  • Contact hospitals or public service organizations to learn if they have oral health messages, announcements and events in their newsletters, bulletin boards, web sites, electronic signs, or mailings. Propose to include your own messaging to educate on dental health.

Get in on the action this month! When parents and caregivers understand more about brushing habits, flossing, rinsing, nutrition, and consistent routine, they can implement healthy practices for their children. Good oral hygiene keeps little smiles healthy from the start!

Source: ADA.org

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