San Benito Public Health Services has joined the American Dental Association in proclaiming February as Children’s Dental Health Month, says a press release from San Benito County.
“The health of our families in our city and our state are dependent on the good health of our children. I am proud to announce that February is Children’s Dental Health Month. Tooth decay can happen at any age, from the moment the first baby tooth arrives in the mouth to adults who are seniors,” stated Nic Calvin, Deputy Director of San Benito County Public Health Services.
The oral health program through San Benito Public health reminds local residents that during this important month, cavities, while preventable, are the most common chronic childhood disease, says the press release. Cavities are even more common than asthma or diabetes.
In California, 54% of kindergarteners and 70% of third graders have experienced cavities, and nearly one-third of children have untreated tooth decay, according to Jennifer Frusetta RDH, BS the Local Oral Health Program Manager. In San Benito, the decay rate is 51% at age 5.
Tooth decay can cause pain, as well as difficulty chewing, speaking and learning in school, according to experts. Children in California miss over 874,000 days of school annually due to dental health problems.
“Good oral health habits early in life are key to enjoying a lifetime of good health” Frusetta said. “We want everyone to help children begin these habits as soon as possible so our children can have beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Remember, you can’t have good general health if you don’t have good oral health.”