February is National Children's Dental Health Month

Airman 1st Class Ashley Wall, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental technician, prepares a dental tray at the dental clinic at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 31, 2012. Wall is about to assist the doctor with a routine semantic crown for an inbound patient.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien/ Released)

Airman 1st Class Ashley Wall, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental technician, prepares a dental tray at the dental clinic at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 31, 2012. Wall is about to assist the doctor with a routine semantic crown for an inbound patient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien/ Released)

Airman 1st Class Ashley Wall, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental technician, prepares a dental tray at the dental clinic at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 31, 2012. Wall is about to assist the doctor with a routine semantic crown for an inbound patient.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien/ Released)

Airman 1st Class Ashley Wall, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental technician, prepares a dental tray at the dental clinic at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 31, 2012. Wall is about to assist the doctor with a routine semantic crown for an inbound patient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien/ Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Did you know that tooth decay is a leading childhood disease and is a principal reason why children miss school? Tooth decay in children can cause several symptoms including fever, flu like symptoms, poor concentration, pain, malnutrition, decreased social skills and low self esteem.

The American Dental Association's (ADA) National Children's Dental Health Month is celebrated every February and was created more than 58 years ago to raise awareness about children's oral health. The ADA provides information, games and activities that caregivers, healthcare professionals and educators can use to educate children and their families about the value of good oral health.

This year, the 9th AMDS dental team will be visiting the Child Development Center as well as Wheatland and Lone Tree Elementary schools with an educational and fun filled presentation promoting good oral health.

We will discuss, demonstrate, and allow the children to interact in activities that show them the proper way to brush & floss their own teeth. As parents of young children, you should assist/observe them brushing and use fun dental aides such as disclosing tablets and timers to help your child brush their teeth correctly and confidently. Disclosing solutions are available over the counter and stain plaque red so that it can be seen, timers signal when the appropriate amount of time has lapsed when brushing.

Try to instill the "2,2,2" rule with your children: Brush at least 2 times a day for 2 minutes at a time and visit your dentist 2 times a year for routine check-ups. Active duty members are encouraged to enroll family members and children into the United Concordia dental insurance plan. Contact information is listed below:

United Concordia/TDP
P.O. box 827583 Philadelphia, PA 19182-7583
Or go online to enroll at: www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com

For more information, contact the Beale Dental Clinic at 634-4781 or 634-4782.