The Monster-Free Mouths Movement
The AAPD launched the Monster-Free Mouths Movement in 2014 to address the nation-wide health threat that tooth decay is to the health and welfare of children in the U.S. This educational campaign aims to arm parents and caregivers with important tools and information to help fight the Mouth Monsters.
As part of the launch of the Monster-Free Mouths Movement, AAPD issued the “State of Little Teeth Report” to provide an in-depth look at the current crisis state of children’s oral health in America. Select key findings of the report included:
• Early childhood tooth decay is serious and on the rise. A rapid form of tooth decay among very young children called early childhood caries (ECC) is the most common disease faced by children, and it’s on the rise.
• Early dental visits are strongly recommended, rarely made. Despite a strong consensus among experts that babies see a pediatric dentist in their first year of life, only a fraction of parents bring their children this early.
• While tooth decay is mostly preventable, many parents and caregivers are unaware of how to help their children fight it. According to a survey by the AAPD, the majority of parents and caregivers were not aware of the unique expertise of pediatric dentists, who receive two to three years of specialized training beyond dental school in areas such as addressing anxiety related to dental visits that some children have, taking care of children with special health care needs, and tailoring treatment that may be needed to the specific emotional and dental needs of children.
Parents and caregivers can join the Monster-Free Mouths Movement today by visiting mouthmonsters.mychildrensteeth.org for tips and resources, including a pediatric dentist finder and a Mouth Monster toolkit to help encourage healthy dental habits for children and to find the full “State of Little Teeth Report.”
About the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is the recognized authority on children's oral health. As advocates for children's oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric dentists and general dentists who treat children. Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 9,300 members provide primary care and comprehensive dental specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs.