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National Children’s Dental Health Month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The dental clinic at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, helps raise awareness for children’s dental health annually during the month of February as part of the National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Staff from the clinic visit with many different elementary schools and day care centers to teach children the importance of keeping their baby teeth healthy and clean before their adult teeth grow in.

“I enjoy having the opportunity to go speak with the kids,” said Capt. Sydney Sheridan, 7th Aerospace Medicine Squadron general dentist. “It gives us a chance to interact with the community while also helping parents have a second source of teaching the kids how important it is to keep their teeth clean.”

During the staff’s visits to schools, they visually teach children the correct way of brushing and flossing their teeth, which foods were bad and good for their teeth, and give each child a small bag of dental hygiene tools along with a pamphlet with tips for their parents.

“Many parents don’t realize that they have to play an active role with their child’s oral hygiene until about the age of 11 or 12,” said Staff Sgt. Allison Carr, 7th AMDS dental technician. “This helps ensure that the child is correctly brushing and flossing their teeth.”

Due to baby teeth being softer than adult teeth, it’s paramount that parents ensure their child’s dental hygiene is kept up with.

According to the website, Mouth Healthy, baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting children off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.