Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month: Support Water Fluoridation
It is Children’s Dental Health Month again, an event that began as a one-day observance in Ohio in 1941 and has spread to a nationwide, month-long occasion to draw attention to the well-being of our children’s teeth. In the past 74 years, children’s oral health has improved significantly. As a result of regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, fluoridated water, access to dental care, improved diet, and other factors, our teeth are healthier today than ever before. And that is a reason to celebrate.
Unfortunately, Children’s Dental Health Month is not all a celebration, as tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease, despite being almost entirely preventable. A few statistics on the problem:
- More than 40% of children ages 2-11 have had a cavity in their baby teeth and 23% of children in this age group suffer from untreated decay;
- More than two-thirds of 16-19 year olds have had a cavity in their permanent teeth;
- Dental care is expensive, even for individuals on private insurance. A person could spend more than $6,000 over a lifetime to deal with the consequences of a cavity in just one molar.
The good news is that there are safe and effective measures that can protect teeth against decay and ensure children grow up with good oral health. Community water fluoridation is one of the most effective, least expensive, and most equitable ways to keep our teeth healthy. People who have access to fluoridated water experience about 25 percent less decay than others, and they receive this great health benefit by doing nothing more than turning on the tap.
Join us in celebrating our children’s oral health this month by helping ensure everyone has access to the preventive health benefits of water fluoridation! Tell your friends about fluoridation via Facebook and Twitter links, too.