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National Children’s Dental Health Month to celebrate water fluoridation in 2020

October 11, 2019

By David Burger

2020NCDHM_Poster

The year of 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation, and the ADA is helping dentists celebrate the occasion as National Children’s Dental Health Month approaches.

In honor of the program, the slogan for the 2020 National Children’s Dental Health Month is “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!”

Brought to the public by the ADA, National Children’s Dental Health Month is held every February as a month-long national health observance that brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.

“National Children’s Dental Health Month has a special meaning now that I am a grandmother,” said Dr. Bonita D. Neighbors, a former member of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention who also served on the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee. “Drinking fluoridated tap water supports my granddaughter’s health through proper hydration and by preventing cavities. As a profession, let’s celebrate with our patients and our community one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, community water fluoridation. As dentists, we know the important role of pediatric oral health on systemic health and disease prevention.”

Free posters — with English on the front, Spanish on the back — about the observance are available to order on the National Children’s Dental Health Month website, ADA.org/ncdhm. They can also be downloaded and printed in poster and flyer size.

Other NCDHM materials on the website include:

• A 2020 National Children’s Dental Health Month program planning guide, which offers resources that promote the benefits of good oral health to children. The guide includes easy-to-do activities, program planning timetable tips, a sample National Children’s Dental Health Month proclamation and more.

• Publicity resources, including a create-your-own press release, radio broadcasting tips and sample newspaper articles.

• Free activity sheets for kids, including crosswords, coloring sheets, calendars and maze sheets in both English and Spanish.

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. The ADA remains committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective public health measure to help prevent tooth decay. More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective and prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.