March 2021 Volume LVI Number 2

 
 
 
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Feature Story: H-2-Know

March 2021 Volume LVI Number 2

H-2-Know Makes a SPLASH This National Children's Dental Health Month
 
The month of February may have started on a down note with Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow and predicting six more weeks of winter, but we were determined to make February a fun-filled month worth celebrating. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) and the AAPD and AAPD Foundation took full advantage of providing educational materials to membership and the public regarding the importance of proper oral health care habits at an early age. We hope that you were able to learn and share something that we created to spread the news over National Children’s Dental Health Month.
 
To start off the month, we had our own President Dr. Jessica Lee participate in a National Satellite Media Tour. Dr. Lee was interviewed by more than 25 outlets and spent the entire day advocating for the importance of not skipping out on oral health care. Dr. Lee stressed that dental offices are taking extra PPE precautions, limiting the amount of patients in the office at one time, vetting patients and caregivers for symptoms prior to arrival and also cleaning every surface in between patients.
 
Per Dr. Lee, most dental offices have arguably never been safer to visit, and it is extremely important that patients do not skip dental visits, because oral health care does not take a break.
 
Just a few days after the Satellite Media Tour, Dr. Lee and AAPD CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas were interviewed by AAPD Vice President Dr. Amr Moursi on Dr. Radio on Sirius XM. Their talk focused on spreading awareness of National Children’s Dental Health Month and informing listeners about what the AAPD’s mission is and why we are known as The Big Authority on Little Teeth.
 
In addition to bringing awareness to the AAPD mission, the importance of Febru- ary, and why keeping up routines espe- cially during a pandemic are essential, National Children’s Dental Health Month also had a fun theme, and this year, the theme was water! Not too many people know this, but lack of water consump- tion can affect oral health and can cause caries among many other health prob- lems. In accordance with the NCDHM theme, AAPD created a campaign called "H-2-Know". H-2-Know focuses on and answers three separate questions that many parents and caregivers may not have known about water!
 
Starting with the first question about the health benefits of water, we brought in one of our favorite example kids, Hank, to explain the importance of drinking 3-5 glasses of water each day, and to stick to fluoridated, unsweetened and uncarbonated water as much as possible to prevent oral health problems. Hank is just an example, so the amount of water kids should drink can vary and should be adjusted based on diet and activity levels.
 
The next question featured our friend, Helen, who couldn’t decide between having a 12 oz glass of water, 100 percent fruit juice, soda or a sports drink. Helen had no idea of the nutritional facts and the amount of sugar and calories that were in soda, a sports drink and even juice! Fruit juice may sound healthy, because fruit is healthy, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is not a necessity in a child’s diet due to the amount of natural sugars. After learning all of that, Helen ran to grab a nice big glass of water!
 
Rounding out our H-2-Know campaign, we brought in Hannah and asked the question about how one can possibly make drinking plain ol’ water appealing when there are so many better tasting op- tions out there. To help get Hannah to drink more water and to enjoy it, we suggested letting her pick out her own cup or straw from the store that is just for water so that she has something that will catch her eye and remind her when she should take a sip. We also suggested that she occasionally add in a piece of fruit like a strawberry or a slice of cucumber to give her fluoridated water a little extra flair!Lastly, we suggested having an incentive program where if she hits her goal each day for a week or a month, she may get a treat or reward of some sort. In the infographic we also stressed that kids like Hannah will eventually get into the habit of drinking water regularly as long as the routine is started early enough.
 
Our H-2-Know campaign gained a lot of attention from parents, caregivers and dental professionals for its help in addressing the chore of including water in a child’s diet. The AAPD NCDHM campaign definitely made a big SPLASH this February!
 
Rounding out National Children’s Dental Health Month, we released three new brochures that are redesigned and include the latest and greatest dental information at a level for parents and caregivers to read and to learn from. The new brochures highlight the benefits
of seeing a Pediatric Dentist, Sealants and Dental Care for your Baby. A starter set of the brochures were sent to the top 400 AAPD online store customers compliments of Cheng Crowns. The new brochures are available to purchase in our store at store.aapd.org.
 
Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an six extra weeks of winter at the beginning of the month, but with all that went on throughout the month of February, it was nothing but fun, educational and bright! Between the interviews with our leadership, H-2-Know and our redesigned brochures, bringing attention to National Children’s Dental Health Month made a SPLASH!

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