Teaching Dental Hygiene Habits to Children

Children's Dental Health Month

The message of good oral hygiene is crucial to the health of each and every individual—and of the nation as a whole—considering that tooth decay ranks as the second most-common health condition falling just below the common cold. Tooth decay is a highly preventable condition, yet more than 40 percent of children are affected by cavities in their primary teeth and 66 percent of teens suffer from tooth decay in at least one permanent tooth. The American Dental Association (ADA) offers year-round programs to help parents teach their children, of all ages, about the importance of good dental care.

National Children’s Dental Health Month in February

A program dedicated to the awareness of children’s dental health began in Akron, Ohio in 1941 as a one-day event. Forty years later, the ADA began sponsoring  the event and made it a month-long campaign, known as National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), which helps dental professionals, teachers, and community leaders promote oral health awareness for children. February is the month of focus for NCDHM, but events and programs are held all year long to teach children the importance of good dental care. These programs help teach children about the importance of proper dental care and make it a fun lesson all year long.

One of the programs, “Give Kids a Smile Day,” was started by the ADA in 2003 as a way for dentists and other dental care professionals to give their time and services to underprivileged kids in their communities. Thanks to more than 15,000 events across the nation and the help of 40,000 volunteers, the program reaches more than 450,000 children each year.

Instilling Good Dental Care Habits in Kids

Even before their first tooth has emerged, you can start teaching basic dental care to your children. It begins with familiarizing your child with daily dental care. For infants, just wipe their gums with a soft cloth after feeding. As your child grows, wrap a soft cloth around your finger, and emulate brushing your child’s gums after meals and before bed. When your child has four or more teeth, you can help them pick out their first toothbrush and toothpaste, and teach them how to brush properly. When your child has two teeth side-by-side, you can familiarize them with the habit of daily flossing by running a floss pick gently between the two teeth.

Make your children a part of the experience to keep them excited about their dental care routine. Let your child to select their first toothbrush, making certain they choose a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush. Most children look forward to brushing with a toothbrush that is their favorite color or adorned with their favorite character. Many toothpaste brands offer flavors kids love, further enhancing the brushing experience. And don’t forget to make twice-a-year visits to your family dentist in Peoria as part of the dental care routine.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Peoria, call Maple Shade Dental Group today at (855) 979-3356 or make an appointment.

Maple Shade Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Peoria. With 3 affiliated practices throughout Illinois, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Maple Shade Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Maple Shade Dental Group. 

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
My dental hygentist was beyond excellent. Wendy is super professional and a wonderful representative of maple shade dental
Stephen C.
I’ve always been greeted by a friendly face and the whole staff is not only professional, but very friendly too!
Asher K.
Professional and friendly staff. They do an excellent job.
Mary D.
Dr. Wolf and his staff are amazing. They put you at ease and genuinely care about their patients. As someone with dentist anxiety, I had a great experience and highly recommend them.
Audra R.
After a very bad dental procedure 5 years ago, saying I was mortified of the dentist would be an understatement. My children come here and one of them has braces from Dr. Wittet as well. Dr. Wittet […]
Tami S.
Everyone is so friendly!!!
Donna A.
People are so kind.
Yoko S.
I’ve been a patient at Maple Shade for 27 years. That should tell you all you need to know about the type of dental practice it is. Everyone there is tops.
Steven G.
Got me in quickly when I had a dental problem. The amount charged was reasonable. I highly recommend this office for your dental needs.
Robert Z.
Competent, professional, friendly people.
Jill M.
Cindy is awesome.
Krista W.
Karen was friendly, professional, and efficient.
Jay R.
Wendy was a great dental hygienist, and the overall staff is really nice!
Bruna T.
The office staff, especially Candy and Julie, are wonderful. They greet me and treat me like I am part of the Maple Shade family. Dr. Shanahan is wonderful as well. Also, the office is clean and is […]
John K.
The receptionist was awesome and very accommodating to find me an earlier appointment. The dentist and staff were friendly and informative.
Carol S.
Staff was great and Dr. Wolfe took his time and was patient with my situation and was very knowledgeable
Cory M.
I’m always treated with friendly care. Everyone is so pleasent . The rates are great for my budget.
Mildred J.
First time there.Thourough cleaning. Great staff, friendly doctor. I saw Dr. Weiss.
Brandon H.
Friendly and very helpful staff! Karen is fantastic!
Melissa P.
Very friendly and professional staff. Karen is the best!!
William M.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here