Kids and candy go together, but it’s not good for their teeth. February is Children's Dental Health Month, and Children’s Hospital and LSU School of Dentistry want to ensure that every child is given the care they need – whether their parents can afford it or not.
The American Dental Association (ADA) created National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to raise awareness about the importance of good dental health for all children, youth and teens.
According to Dr. Janice A. Townsend, interim chair of LSU’s Pediatric Dentistry Department, tooth decay and cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood – 5 times more common than asthma. "The problem is serious; in fact, 40% of Louisiana’s third graders have untreated decay," said Townsend.
The ADA urges parents and caregivers to make sure their children brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat a balanced diet and see their dentist regularly to address tooth decay in its earliest stages.
Also, as much as children may bristle at the thought of visiting the dentist, parents need to bring them.
"We have two pediatric dentistry clinics," said Townsend. "One is at the LSU Dental School and one is in Children’s Hospital. We are currently accepting new patients we and we accept Bayou Health (Medicaid) and most forms of LA CHIP."
Parents can call (504) 941-8250 to learn more.
February Events:February 3 – Screening event of Smith Elementary kindergarten students at LSU School of Dentistry
February 6 – Dental Day at Children’s Hospital! Dr. Pamela Shaw and dental students will be visiting patients in Children’s Hospital to hand out toothbrushes and oral hygiene information
February 10 – Give Kids a Smile with the Hornets