February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Every February, thousands of dental organizations and providers throughout the nation take time to inform and educate the public about the importance of children’s oral health.
This February, the Harford County Health Department will join the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health and the American Dental Association to promote the 2019 National Children’s Dental Health Month theme, “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease among U.S. children. Left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections as well as problems eating, speaking, and learning. Tooth decay is responsible for more than 51 million lost school hours each year.
“National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect opportunity to increase public awareness about the importance of children’s oral health” said Harford County Health Officer, Dr. Russell Moy. “Tooth decay, though very common in children, is almost 100 percent preventable. Scheduling your child’s first dental visit by age one and making sure they brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste are some of the best things you can do for your child’s oral health.”
The Health Department also operates a Dental Outreach Program that is supported by grants from the Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health. The Outreach Program includes two school-based dental programs in Harford County Public Schools (a dental screening program for prekindergarten and kindergarten children and a dental sealant program for 2nd and 3rd-grade children) and a partnership with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to promote good oral health for pregnant women, mothers, and children at all three WIC sites located in Harford and Cecil counties.
The Health Department’s Dental Clinic, located at 2204 Hanson Road in the Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center in Edgewood, serves as a dental home for children ages 1 – 20 who are enrolled in the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) and for pregnant women on MCHP. For more information about Harford County’s public health dental clinic or to schedule an appointment, please call (443)-922-7670.