National Children's Dental Health Month
All children should have the opportunity for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Each February, the Kansas Dental Association participates in the National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) campaign to educate children, parents, and teachers on the importance of good oral health. "Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile" was the theme of the 2017 campaign.
How Does the KDA Help Improve Children's Dental Health?
In 2017, the KDA held its annual Drawing Contest, as well as the fourth annual Children’s Dental Health Month Class Project Contest – and ALL third grade students in Kansas were invited to participate!
The Council on Children's Dental Health targets the third grade population because there is already a dental health unit in their science curriculum.
At the beginning of each Spring semester, the KDA sends school nurses and third grade teachers at every elementary school in Kansas an information packet containing contest rules, entry forms, posters, and activity sheets encouraging them to celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month.
Entries for the contests are then submitted to the KDA office and the Council on Children's Dental Health district chairpersons.
View the winners of the 2017 KDA Class Project Contest and Drawing Contest.
How Does the KDA Help Teachers and School Nurses Promote Dental Health?
Traditionally, the KDA has worked with third grade students and teachers across the state by providing educational materials and inviting the classes to participate in a drawing contest.
In 2014, the Council on Children’s Dental Health made the decision to award a prize to both the teacher and the student as a way to boost participation in what is now known as the KDA Drawing Contest.
As a result, 3rd graders from all over Kansas submit their artwork during the NCDHM campaign for a chance to win a $50 gift card, as well as a $100 gift card for their teacher to use on classroom activities. After another successful competition, 10 more students and their teachers received prizes in 2017… and we expect 10 more in 2018 as well!
The Council on Children’s Dental Health made the decision to award a prize to both the teacher and the student as a way to boost participation in the contest.
“In year’s past, a bicycle was awarded to the winning student, however, response has been dwindling over the past few years and many districts were not receiving any entries at all,” said Niki Sadler of the Kansas Dental Association. “The idea was to target those who could actually influence the classroom curriculum. We felt that benefitting the teacher as well as the student, would show the teacher that we appreciate their service. The teacher is the one who makes a difference.”
In addition to the Drawing Contest, the Council created the KDA Class Project Contest, in which 3rd grade teachers can submit a dental health presentation for the chance to win a larger prize – a $500 gift card for 1st place, a $250 card for 2nd place, or a $100 card for 3rd place.
Once received, all presentations are evaluated and scored by the Council on Children’s Dental Health and KDA staff, then the top three projects are judged by the General Assembly at the Annual Business Meeting.
For more information on the KDA's Children's Dental Health Month campaigns, contact Kylie Fleck, KDA Communications Coordinator.