February is the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), and this year’s theme is Defeat Monster Mouth. In order for the program to be successful and make a positive impact on kids’ knowledge about dental health, outreach and education are crucial. If you work with children (for example, teachers, dentists, nurses, or other professionals) and are interested in contributing to this project, consider downloading the free NCDHM planning program guide. This document includes a wealth of important knowledge, including tips on how to schedule a proclamation signing, various ideas for kids’ activities and a planning timetable.
Having your town’s mayor sign a proclamation can send a message to the community at large that children’s dental health is an important priority for your town. Publicizing the event can be a great way to increase awareness, both among children and their parents, about the importance of brushing, flossing and eating healthy. A sample proclamation can be found in the planning program guide, along with helpful tips for how to schedule the signing.
Many children learn best through games and activities. That is why the planning program includes many great activity ideas, including:
- Coloring contests: Organizing contests and games that get the word out about NCDHM can be an effective way to educate children.
- Health fairs: You can get in contact with different health fairs in your area and design a booth that promotes Defeat Monster Mouth and distributes information about healthy dental habits. Also find out about local Give Kids a Smile events that provide free dental care to children.
- News coverage: The media, both print and television, are another great avenue through which to reach out to the community about the program.
Also included in the guide is a planning timetable. This schedule can be quite useful, particularly if this is your first time helping to organize NCDHM events. From October to March, there is work to be done to ensure that National Children’s Dental Health Month goes smoothly. Take a look at the timetable for ideas on how you can get started.
Bringing awareness to the public at large about how children can take care of their teeth can have a large and positive impact. On the whole, the Defeat Monster Mouth planning program guide is an excellent resource for dentists, teachers and parents who wish to get involved in the program. It includes helpful information regarding how to schedule proclamations signings, a planning timetable, and potential activities for kids and adults alike.