According to the National Education Association, American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of dental health problems. Despite the fact that it’s nearly entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. Because early education is crucial to learning good oral hygiene habits, the American Dental Association (ADA), Crest, and Oral B sponsor National Children’s Dental Health Month every February. We’ve put together some ways to help ensure your kids learn how to take care of their teeth from an early age.
Dental Tips for Kids
Good oral hygiene practices such as thorough brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can help keep children from getting cavities. Here are other ways to instill healthy habits in your child:
- The ADA recommends kids brush for two minutes, two times a day. Try an animated timer on your phone to make it fun.
- Keep a regular routine. Brush at the same time each day, e.g., before school and before bedtime.
- Don’t forget to teach your kids how to floss!
- Visit the dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups.
- Provide your child with healthy snacks instead of sugar-laden sweets. Apples, carrots, and cheese are just a few examples of foods that are great for your teeth and also good for you.
- Make brushing a fun activity rather than a chore. Consider purchasing a talking toothbrush or one with a lighted timer for your child and encourage them to pick out their toothbrush and flavored toothpaste.
Did you know there are books that help ease dental anxiety in kids? Here are a couple of suggestions: Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brushing His Teeth? by Jamie McClaine and April Goodman Willy.
Unsure as to when to take your child in for their first dentist appointment? It may be earlier than you think. And we have more tips for you here! If you have questions about your child’s teeth, give us a call or contact us here. We look forward to assisting you!