If you asked a pediatric dentist what their favorite month of the year was, my guess is most would say February. Why February? Well, for starters, it has been designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month. All over the United States, pediatric dental offices increase their outreach during this time. They visit with local school children and educate them and their parents about good oral health.

Some communities even participate in Give Kids a Smile Day. This day, typically held on the 1st Friday and Saturday of February is a way for dentist to give back to their local communities. It is an effort spearheaded by the American Dental Association.

Sonoma County definitely participates in this worthwhile day. In our community, Give Kids a Smile Day turned 15 this year. This local effort, led by the Community Action Partnership based in Santa Rosa, has been vital to coordinating the event for our area. Local dental offices, the SRJC Dental Program and the community clinics all open their doors and provide vital dental care to those without a dental home.

In my own practice, we donate our time and talents yearly to this event. Over the years, I’d estimate my office has seen well over 500 kids and has provided well into six figures of free dental care. The children and families we get to meet are really appreciative of our efforts and, you can’t beat that feeling you get when you know you’ve done something for the greater good.

During the month of February, my team visits numerous elementary school classrooms and day cares across Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove. If your child’s school or daycare would like a visit, please contact the office to schedule. The kids are given a free oral kit and are taught oral hygiene instruction during the visits. It is as much fun for the kids as it is for our team. Happy Children’s Dental Health Month!