February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). Each year during the month of February, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the ADA Foundation team up to provide a new NCDHM campaign. The campaign for 2016 is the “Sugar Wars.” Dental and healthcare professionals, educators, advocates, and caregivers are encouraged to join the fight against the “sweet tooth invaders,” and teach children healthy oral hygiene and eating habits.
Many resources are available to help spread the word about this year’s campaign as well as tips for maintaining good oral health. Below are some steps you can take to observe NCDHM 2016:
- Check out the program planning guide which provides an overview and history of NCDHM, examples of promotional materials, and suggestions for kid friendly activities, such as sponsoring a coloring or essay contest. You can also refer to the creating your own press release guide, broadcasting tips, and sample newspaper articles for ideas on how to best promote children’s oral health in your community.
- To help teach children the importance of oral health, the ADA NCDHM website also has an extensive list of activity sheets including coloring sheets, word searches, crafts, and other activities to promote healthy eating and oral hygiene habits. Activity sheets are available in both English and Spanish.
- Don’t forget to share your plans to observe NCDHM 2016 on social media using the hashtags #NCDHM and #SugarWars. You can share your own tips for healthy eating and oral hygiene and link to these kids nutrition tips or the prevent kids’ tooth decay infographic. If you need further inspiration, check out the Children’s Dental Health Project social media kit.
Although NCDHM occurs just once a year, you can continue promoting oral health all year round. Visit the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition (KOHC) website to learn more about how you can become involved with the work of the coalition to improve oral health for children and families across the commonwealth!