Recognizing Children's Dental Health Month with AAPD

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February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and the occasion is a little more somber this year than most. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) President Dr. Jessica Lee sat down with to discuss how the pandemic is affecting children's dental health.

Lee said she's seen more tooth decay and extractions since dental offices closed in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on her experience, she isn't surprised by new data showing more than 10% of parents are afraid to bring their children to the dentist.

Fortunately, there are steps dentists can take to help parents feel more comfortable bringing their children back to the dental office, Lee said. Clinicians should communicate with parents and patients about the new changes dental offices have put in place, in addition to sharing the importance of routine dental care for children, she advised.

"It is on us to make sure we communicate with our families," she said. "I take telecalls, Zoom calls, phone calls to let each family know how safe it is to go to a dentist. But we also want to make sure they understand how important it is to go to a dentist because we don't want those small problems to become big problems."

See the full conversation in the video below.

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