February is National Children's Dental Health Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941. The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949. The single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month. Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. NCDHM messages reach thousands of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed services bases. Local observances often include displays of posters provided by the ADA, coloring and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations by dentists and other members of the dental team, and dental office tours
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.
Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Whether you're a member of the dental team, a teacher or a parent, the ADA has free online resources that can help you with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom, and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. We also have booklets, videos and other materials available for purchase through our ADA Catalog.
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2017 NCDHM Campaign
The American Dental Association, along with the ADA Foundation, is pleased to provide you with the February 2017 National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM) campaign poster. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.
This year’s NCDHM campaign slogan, “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” is displayed in English on one side of the poster and in Spanish on the reverse side. In addition to the campaign slogan, the message “I love tap water” is displayed as emoji with the familiar NCDHM characters – the Smileys, McGinns and K9 featured in the poster design, having fun climbing and sliding on and around the emoji. These versatile posters will help speakers, teachers, and others to address a range of age groups.
Order 2017 National Children's Dental Health Month Posters. Learn More.
The NCDHM Program Planning Guide provides program coordinators, dental societies, teachers, and parents with resources to promote the benefits of good oral health to children. The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample NCDHM proclamation, and much, much more.
Download the NCDHM Program Planning Guide (PDF)
2017 NCDHM Poster
The NCDHM Posters feature the 2017 slogan "Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile" and are available in English and Spanish.
To Download "Do It Yourself" Posters (available in 8.5"x11" or 11"x17"):
There are many ways to publicize your oral health messages, events and activities. Here are some ideas that will help you get your messages placed:
Develop a list of the local newspapers, radio and television stations. Many libraries have media directories (such as Bacon's), which include addresses, phone numbers, names of editors or producers, and circulation or broadcast information.
The local phone directory is a good resource for locating news outlets. Don't forget community news or "free" papers, which often feature community events.
Press releases are bulletins that provide general information about a specific topic (sealants, mouth guards, early childhood caries, etc.) or an upcoming event, such as a dental health screening.
News articles should be typed, double-spaced, on organization letterhead or sent by email.
Good outlets for news releases include:
- daily and weekly newspapers and Sunday newspaper supplements
- newsprint shopping guides
- hospital newsletters
- library bulletin boards
- health club newsletters
- church bulletins
- chamber of commerce newsletters
To download information about additional ways to publicize your program review the links below.
Fun Activity Sheets for Kids
Check back in December for 2017 NCDHM activity sheets.
Full Sets of Activity Sheets