Health Department Reminds the Harford County Community of the Importance of Children’s Dental Health

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Image by Jenny Friedrichs from Pixabay

Every February, thousands of dental organizations and providers throughout the nation take time to educate the public about the importance of children’s oral health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among US children that can be prevented. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections as well as problems eating, speaking, learning, and playing. 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 Dawn Anthony, RDH, Dental Outreach Coordinator for the health department. “Tooth decay, though very common in children, is almost 100 percent preventable. Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, drinking water from the tap, limiting sugary foods and drinks, and making regular visits to the dentist (first dental visit should be around the first birthday!) 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 partially supported by grants from the Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health. The program includes three school-based dental programs in Harford County Public Schools, a dental screening program for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children, a dental sealant program for 2nd and 3rd grade children, and a daily toothbrushing program for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children at two elementary schools, and a partnership with the Women Infant 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 or to schedule an appointment, please call 443-922-7670.