- By Jessica A. Rickert, DDS
A child’s smile can change the world, bringing joy and delight. That’s when you fall hopelessly in love with life. A bright smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. Smiles are not complicated. A perfect smile starts with excellent dental health.
Let’s give that to our children during National Children's Dental Health Month, February. It’s not complicated.
Clean your baby’s mouth as soon as you arrive home from the birth. Breast feed the child if at all possible. Provide healthy food and water. Healthy teeth start the digestive process.
A first visit to a dentist is recommended before age 1 year old.
Baby’s first word will change your world. Teeth are needed for proper speech to develop in the first years.
The most common transmissible disease is dental cavities; the germs which cause cavities are transmitted to the baby by family members. That is why it is essential that all family members have excellent dental health.
The number one reason that children miss school is because of dental disease. Parents, why not do everything in your power to stop dental disease? It’s not complicated. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day. Feed them nutritious food. Take them twice a year to the dentist’s off ice for a dental cleaning twice a year. Included in this visit will be instructions and fluoride applications. If there is a downpour in the day you visit the dentist’s office, you’ll wear a raincoat or use an umbrella, right? That is what sealants are for -sealants on the teeth are protection of the enamel from a harsh environment. They seal out decay.
Take charge ofyour child’s dental health today! Here are free ways to help:
Links to Resourses -Dental Organizations:
National Childrens Dental Health Month | American Dental Association (ada.org) Full Sets of Fun Activity Sheets-Question? Please email [email protected]
2021-NCDHM-Infographic.pdf (michigandental.org) - Poster for home & school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YRGUTCl1KU - Excellent dental health during pregnancy
ADA Watch Your Mouth Presentation (mouthhealthy.org) - Middle school oral health
Government Health Departments:
Children's Dental Health (cdc.gov) - USA government dental advice
MDHHS_2018_HKD_brochure_Final_634786_7.pdf (michigan.gov) - Dental advice for children
www.education.ne.gov/nebooks/ebooks/powerofrolemodels.pdf - Recruiting students into dentistry
Educational Resources (colgate.com) - Dental Activity Sheets
Dental Health for Kids – Children's Health (childrens.com) - Dental Activity Sheets
Free Kids Dental Coloring Sheets - Printable Activity Pages about Teeth (drbethkailes.com) - Dental Activity Sheets
https://www.kidsparkz.com/teeth.html - Dental Activity Sheets
Jessica A. Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) became the first Native American female dentist in July 1975. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Dental School.
12 years of Native News
This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.