Malmstrom clinic provides outreach for Children’s Dental Health Month

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Elijah Grayson
  • 341st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron

Every February, dental clinics around the nation celebrate Children's Dental Health Month. This year, Malmstrom’s clinic will be advocating in the community to teach children the importance of good oral health including brushing, flossing and dietary prevention.

Studies have shown that continuous parental involvement in teaching and monitoring children for proper oral hygiene produces the best outcomes.

First, children should start flossing by age three or four. Using a floss aid will make it easier for children to learn to floss, but children can transition to string floss by age six or seven. Flossing cleans up to 40% of the tooth surfaces, and brushing cleans the rest.

Next, children should brush their teeth for two minutes using a circular motion, at a 45-degree angle, with bristles toward the gum line. For the best results, children should brush every morning and night.

The last thing that is vital for children’s dental health is fluoride. Fluoride prevents cavities from forming by strengthening teeth. Most mouth rinses and toothpastes contain fluoride. At the age of six, children are old enough to use mouthwash because they can swish and spit

Another great option for cavity prevention in children is the use of professionally applied fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish application can be provided by your child’s dentist or from their primary care provider during a regular checkup.

Currently, the clinic hopes to present dental health information at Loy Elementary, Chief Joseph Elementary, the Child Development Center, the base library and Youth Center. These locations may change based on public health conditions, but the goal is to present the last week of February, 2022.

During these visits, Airmen will be handing out dental goody bags to all the children. These bags will consist of an instructional pamphlet providing more in-depth instructions on oral hygiene for children, along with oral hygiene equipment such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a timer.