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February is Children's Dental Health Month

JANUARY 25 – The Health Department of Northwest Michigan, in conjunction with Michigan Community Dental Clinics and local dentists, reminds you to give your child a smile that lasts a lifetime. February is National Children's Dental Health Month, which brings an increased focus on the importance of regular dental check-ups and a balanced diet. “Oral health is such an important part of a child's overall good health, yet it can be overlooked in young children,” said Linda Yaroch, Health Officer. “Good health habits should begin with a first visit to the dentist after the child's first tooth erupts, or by his or her first birthday. A balanced diet, limited snacks, daily brushing and flossing and regular check-ups are the keys to healthy teeth and gums.”

Additionally, bottles and pacifiers also impact your child's oral health. Here are some tips from the American Dental Association to keep your young child's mouth healthy:

Older children should follow the same rules of regular brushing, flossing, dental visits and eating a balanced diet, and avoiding sugary beverages like juice and soft drinks. Sugars and starches lead to plaque, which can attack tooth enamel. Both the sugar and the acid in soft drinks attack teeth.

Dental Clinics North, operated by Michigan Community Dental Clinics on behalf of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, focuses on serving persons enrolled in Medicaid, as well as low-income patients without insurance. Our clinics are accepting new patients and encourage dental visits by age one, to establish a foundation of care before problems arise.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information about your child's dental care, to see if you may qualify for coverage under MIChild/Healthy Kids, or to schedule an appointment, please call (877) 313-6232.