The annual observance of children's dental health began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio on February 3, 1941 and a one-week event in Akron, Ohio during February 1941.
The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children's Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949. The single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children's Dental Health Month.
Today, NCDHM is a nationwide program and its messages reach millions of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed service bases abroad. Local observances often include poster, coloring, and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations and dental office tours.
This year’s NCDHM campaign slogan, “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile" features the familiar NCDHM characters – the Smileys, McGinns and K9.
PDA's 2009 NCDHM program received national recognition by earning first place in the ADA 2009 Samuel D. Harris National Children's Dental Health Month State Program Award. PDA has received merit awards in 2008, 2007 and 2003. PDA also earned a Capital Award from the International Association of Business Communicators - Harrisburg Chapter for the 2010 program, an award also won in 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004 and 2003.
PDA encourages member dentists and teachers across the state to participate in this important oral health program that continues to reach thousands of Pennsylvania youths each year.