November 1st is National Brush your Teeth Day!

November 1st is National Brush your Teeth Day!

November 01, 2021

Today is National Brush your Teeth Day! Now, we know what you're thinking. How fitting considering yesterday was Halloween—the one night of the year where most parents put away their “cavity monster” story and let their kids dig into a big bowl of sticky, gooey, and chocolatey treats.

While a couple of sweets on Halloween won’t completely offset your child's oral health, not scheduling regular dentist appointments for them can. Even if your child brushes their teeth and flosses regularly, it's still important to see a dentist at least once a year. A dentist can offer a more thorough cleaning and check for cavities and other dental issues that may be present.

If the cost of visiting a dentist’s office has you concerned, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) might be able to help.

What’s the ABCD program?

Here at SRHD, we believe every kid should have access to proper dental care. Through the ABCD program (Access to Baby & Child Dentistry), all children under 6 are eligible for dental visits at over 40 different ABCD-certified dentistry's if they have Washington state's Apple Health/Provider One medical coverage (Medicaid).

Proper oral care is important for children under 6 who are transitioning from baby teeth to adult teeth. Regular dentist visits, starting at age 1, or once they get their first tooth, can determine if your child's teeth are growing correctly or if they need additional dental care. A dentist can also help address questions you or your child may have about their teeth and manage aches and pains as they occur. To learn more about eligibility requirements, click here: Home - ABCD Dental

What does the ABCD program cover?

Children who qualify for the ABCD program are covered for:

• Fluoride varnish applications

• Dental examinations

• Parent education sessions

• Restorative care as needed

What else can I do?

While regular trips to the dentist's office are great, it's also important to maintain proper oral care at home. Talk to your kids about the importance of brushing their teeth every day to avoid cavities and promote cleaner teeth and better-smelling breath. Small incentives like stickers or playing a tooth-brushing song can also help kids stay excited to maintain good brushing habits.

Make sure to keep an eye on their brushing technique as well. One thing we recommend is brushing your teeth beside them to show proper form and etiquette, reaching all areas of their mouth and brushing for the full two minutes. For younger children and babies, brush each tooth present with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, twice a day.

Simply put, your child’s teeth are an important part of their health and overall well-being. The better their oral care, the less likely they are to experience aches and pains or cavities that require dental procedures. Establish good cleaning habits at home and make sure your child sees a dentist at least once a year, starting at their first birthday or their first tooth. For more information on our ABCD program, visit: Access to Baby & Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program | SRHD