February is Childrens Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds parents the key to a lifelong, healthy smile is early preventive care. Beginning regular dental visits by the age of 1 year, using fluoridated water and brushing twice a day can help prevent painful cavities from forming in a child’s mouth.

This year, the theme for National Children’s Dental Health Month is "Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!" 2020 marks 75 years of community water fluoridation, which has been recognized by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Water fluoridation is a proven method that decreases dental decay.

In Iowa, 90% of the population, or over 1.6 million Iowans, that are on community water systems are receiving fluoridated water. Still, 485 systems serving over 260,000 Iowans are below the recommended level of 0.7 mg/L.

To learn more about fluoride and its benefits, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/ohds/fluoride. If you want to know the level of fluoride in your drinking water, visit https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/Default.aspx.