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Oral Health
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Celebrate Children’s Dental Health in February!
“Defeat Monster Mouth”
 
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The Public Health Division and Oral Health Program is raising awareness about the importance of oral health and encouraging caregivers and children to practice good oral health habits.
 
A healthy mouth is an important part of overall health, and good oral health starts with your child's baby teeth. If baby teeth are kept cavity-free, then a child's adult teeth are more likely to be cavity-free. Having healthy baby teeth:
  • Allows your child to chew and eat properly
  • Helps your child to speak more clearly
  • Guides adult teeth into place
  • Helps to shape your baby's face
  • Keeps future dental costs to a minimum

Children can fight having a “monster mouth” full of cavities by maintaining good oral hygiene. Good oral health includes:

  • Seeing a dentist regularly
  • Brushing teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day
  • Flossing teeth daily
  • Using fluoride (toothpaste, varnish, fluoridated water)
  • Choosing healthy snacks like vegetables, cheese, and fruits (not fruit juice)
  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Protecting the mouth from injury
To make brushing fun and rewarding, the OHA School-based Dental Sealant Program has developed a calendar that children can use to keep track of brushing twice each day. Please download the calendar in English or Spanish (pdf).
For more specific tips to maintain good oral hygiene for your child, please visit Oral Health Care for Infants and Children.
 

Oral Health Program

The Oregon Health Authority's Oral Health Program is responsible for advancing evidence-based strategies to improve the oral health of all Oregonians. The Program is designed after the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors' (ASTDD) model for state-based oral health programs. The Oral Health Program takes a comprehensive approach to address oral health issues across the lifespan through these activities:

  • Ongoing data collection and maintenance of the Oregon Oral Health Surveillance System
  • Policy development
  • Delivery of school-based oral health programs
  • Oral health promotion and education for the public
  • Building partnerships and collaboration to support the integration of oral health
  • Workforce development
 

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