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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
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66 Years and It Still Has Teeth

Feb 12, 2015

By Dean George

The first year this celebrated annual national event was held, the price of gasoline was $0.17 a gallon, the minimum wage was $0.70 and the average cost of a new house was $7,450.

National Children's Dental Health Month 2015

If you guessed we’re talking about the first year nitrous oxide was used to perform a dental surgery that is incorrect. That would be 1772 when Unitarian minister and scientist Joseph Priestley first passed gas in a clinical setting – so to speak.

If you guessed we’re talking about the first known case of a dentist accidentally jabbing himself with a syringe of Novocain, that also is incorrect. That would have been 1911 when Titus T. Numbme accidentally sat on a syringe prepared by his dental assistant/wife Adelaide. 

Legend has it the two had been in a heated argument about Titus’s rude manner with patients when he unintentionally plopped down on a syringe injected with Novocain. Reportedly he exclaimed, “Darn it Adelaide, if this is your idea of helping me get in touch with my feelings, it won’t work because now I can’t feel anything!”

Okay, I made up the Novocain story, but this is true: 2015 marks the 66th observance of National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), but with this asterisk – the first event was actually held eight years earlier in 1941, but it was just a one-day event without a national sponsor.

We can neither confirm nor deny that the eight-year hiatus occurred because the original event was hosted in Cleveland. In February. Before the invention of insulated winter wear.

Anyway, the American Dental Association (ADA) has sponsored the national event annually since 1949. The day-long event became a weeklong event in 1955, and in 1981 it was extended to encompass the entire month of February, where it shares time with Black History Month, International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, National Heart Month, and Arugula, Artichokes and Anchovies Month.

Okay, you got me; I made up the last observance to see if you’re still paying attention. If I’ve offended any arugula, artichokes or anchovies reading today, I apologize.

Seriously though, the importance of National Children’s Dental Health Month is no joking matter. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and to promote good oral health habits with kids.

Every year thousands of dental professionals, health care providers and others work tirelessly to educate millions of children nationwide by visiting public schools, community groups, public facilities, military bases and dental offices. Here’s why that’s important:

American students are estimated to miss 51 million hours of school every year due to oral health problems. One study conducted by the Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC said that elementary students missed 2.1 days every year due to dental problems, and high school students missed 2.3 days.

Add that to the 2.5 days of work parents miss annually caring for children with dental problems, and you’ve got a lot of students and their folks down in the mouth from missing school and work. Further, students who experience oral health pain are four times more likely to have grades lower than the median GPA of 2.8.

A trip to the dentist will help the toothache, but there’s no anesthetic for a bad report card!

That’s why we were happy to learn that one of our carriers at Dental Insurance Store, Renaissance Dental, is celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month by sponsoring the National Education Association’s Read Across America program.

The program encourages parents and children to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and read for 20 minutes. For readers who prefer the mathematical spelling, that’s 2x2+20 = good oral health and literacy habits.

Both the NEA and the ADA have pages devoted to helping kids get the most out of National Children’s Dental Health Month with games, puzzles, videos, books and activities by clicking here and here.

So how are you celebrating the 66th consecutive National Children’s Dental Health Month? Here’s an idea:

  • Kids can do their part by using some of the free activities provided while also remembering to brush their teeth twice daily and rinse with a good mouthwash provided by their parents.

  • Dental professionals, caregivers and teachers can help promote the campaign to better educate their patients and students and encourage good oral health awareness.

  • We’re doing our part by offering affordable and flexible dental plans that accommodate any budget and a diversity of family dental needs.

  • Parents, that leaves you. To see what plans are available to help protect your oral health and your mini-me’s, click here

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and remember – the shortest distance between two people is a smile. For more reasons to smile follow us on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Sources:,,, britannica,com
Photo source:

Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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