Why Your Kids’ and Pets’ Dental Health Matters This Month

February is a big month for dental health. Not only does the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsor National Children’s Dental Health Month this month, but it’s also National Pet Dental Health Month.

According to the Culpeper Star Exponent, veterinarians use the month of February to stress the importance of pet dental health and help combat the numbers of cats and dogs that suffer from dental disease and complications. The American Veterinary Dental Society says that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats display signs of oral disease by the time they reach three years of age.

Because of these statistics, veterinarians encourage pet owners to check their cats and dogs for signs of oral disease. Ideally, your pet should have white teeth, light-pink gums and fresh breath. If your pet’s teeth don’t display these features, you should visit the veterinarian for a pet dental cleaning.

Keeping your pet’s teeth in good condition isn’t just a matter of keeping “doggie breath” at bay — poor dental health can have a significant impact on your pet’s quality of life. The Star Exponent reports that dogs and cats can feel toothaches just like we can. In addition, regular dental care can allow your pet to live two to five years longer.

Children’s dental health is also grossly overlooked. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a stunning one of every five children age five to 11 has one or more untreated dental cavity.

To help combat tooth decay in children, the ADA has named February National Children’s Dental Health Month. By encouraging participation from parents, teachers and caregivers, the ADA’s program works to teach millions of children across the country about the benefits of good dental health.

When an amazing 75% of people have reported feeling that an unattractive smile harms one’s chances for a successful career, it’s extremely important to make sure your children receive the best dental care and develop good dental hygiene habits early on in life.

And even if you’re neither a child nor a pet, you can still observe good dental hygiene throughout the month of February — enjoy your Valentine’s sweets in moderation, and always brush and floss your teeth!

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