7 Great Tips to Care For Your Kids’ Teeth
Making sure your children’s teeth are taken care of is a big responsibility. Teeth are very important, not only to oral health, but to overall health as well. There are certain things you can do to make sure that your children get started on the pathway to healthy teeth for the future.
- Help your children establish the habit of practicing good oral hygiene. Make sure your children brush their teeth twice a day at the minimum. Three times a day is optimal. Get in the daily routine of having them brush after breakfast and before bedtime. Make sure you keep mouthwash stocked and see that they use it. There are even brands of mouthwash available now that you can use before you brush to show all the build-up and where the germs lie on your teeth. Children seem to enjoy this product because it gives them a quick visual picture of before and after. Encourage them to floss daily and if they are too small to floss, floss their teeth for them.
-Reward your children for good oral hygiene. Children tend to repeat behaviours that are praised or rewarded. Putting up a reward chart in the bathroom to keep track of how often they are brushing, flossing and using mouthwash is a good idea to help promote good oral health. Set up a system with your children where they receive some kind of reward after so many days of not missing or skipping teeth care. Try to give rewards that are not related to sugary foods. A new toy or trips to the local park are a couple of ideas.
-Cut back on the amount of sugary drinks and snacks your children consume. On the whole, most children have way too many sugary foods and beverages. Fizzy sodas are especially hard on your child’s teeth. Provide healthy, flavourful alternatives to them and don’t even keep junk foods and beverages in the house. Keep your refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks such as yogurt, grapes, veggies and dip, pretzels and other choices. Replace sodas with flavoured water, water or milk. Milk is a great choice for healthy teeth.
-Chew gum or rinse mouth with water. When you are out away from home and can’t brush, rinse with water or chew sugar free gum after meals to help prevent cavities and other unhealthy dental conditions. It isn’t the same as brushing but has been shown to help reduce the amount of cavities one has. Most children enjoy chewing gum so they are very open to this suggestion.
-Model good dental hygiene habits in front of your children. Children tend to imitate what their parents do. They are far more likely to do what you tell them to do if they see you are doing the same thing rather than by being told alone. Let them see you brushing and flossing and they will too.
-Make sure your children have regular dental checkups. Twice yearly checkups are the optimal number to aim for. When you check out of your appointment, make another one in six months time so it won’t slip your mind that your children need to return to the dentist. It will also prevent you from having to remember when they last went to figure out when they need to next be scheduled. A dentist is the best person to have on your team when it comes to good dental health and regular checkups are best.
-Having braces to straighten their teeth. When they have all their adult teeth, it is worth considering having a brace fitted if needs be. They will thank you no end when they have healthy straight teeth as an adult. There are many different types of brace available now; almost all of them can be paid for with a finance option if it isn’t already covered by the NHS. See www.braces.org.uk for more information on dental braces.
Written by Jonny Webber.
Jonny lives in Manchester, where he works as a freelance writer; the main topics he writes about are health, eco living, and cosmetic surgery.