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
Everybody was very friendly and nice and answered any question you had. I like when people tell me upfront what is going to be happening instead of just doing it.
Joy H.
Doctor Ruffner is amazing! He really cares about his patients and about the work he does. He knows I have terrible anxiety but he still wipes the tears away when I’m having a hard time. I […]
Sara L.
Always good service.
Kailey B.
Staff is wonderful and service was excellent!
Kimberly D.
I really love the staff and I was in and out quickly. The dentists themselves are friendly and informative.
Leeann D.
Solid place with great customer service. Fun staff and great Doctors.
John W.
Everything went great and everyone was fantastic!
Jodi S.
Love everything about my visit! Professional- courteous – patient -thorough! Will definitely recommend !
Michelle G.
Excellent, friendly service! Ready when I arrived, appointment easily completed on time, dentist was ready quickly too!
Benjamin S.
The staff, including Dr. Shanahan, were wonderful to work with. They always greet me with a warm smile and are willing to go that extra mile to make sure my experience is a positive one.
John K.
Friendly people, great service provided and I always leave with a smile!
Dana B.
They always make me feel welcome. They make the visit personal to my needs as well as talking to me about my life outside of the dentist chair. I always look forward to my visits I really love it […]
James C.
I’ve always been greeted by a friendly face and the whole staff is not only professional, but very friendly too!
Asher K.
Both the hygienist and the dentist was very polite and thorough. Both asked if I had any concerns or problems with my teeth. I would recommend anyone to go to this group.
Jim K.
What a GREAT dental office!! The staff & doctors are wonderful & caring professionals. Every time I go there it feels like visiting family. If you are looking for a dental office that cares […]
Deborah P.
Kindness, consideration, and helpful guidance with my 3 yr old son’s visit.
Benjamin G.
Very warm & attentive staff. I felt cared for. My hygienist talked me throughout the entire treatment. Way to go Jen. Thank you
Frieda R.
My dental hygentist was beyond excellent. Wendy is super professional and a wonderful representative of maple shade dental
Stephen C.
Dr. Shanahan’ work is top notch and his manner is very kind and considerate. I think Stephanie was the dental assistant’s name and she was fantastic. She kept me apprised of what was […]
Bonnie I.
Did a very good job on my teeth no pain at all
Donald 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