February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month-long period of awareness is brought about by the American Dental Association. The purpose of the children’s dental health month is to help our kids get into the best practices in taking care of their teeth, as well as to provide support for parents, guardians, and teachers of our nation’s children.
Throughout February, dentists, schools, and various other organizations will be focusing on helping to educate as many children as possible about the importance of good dental care.
Getting Into Good Brushing Habits
Good dental habits last a lifetime. It is therefore important that caregivers take the time to teach their children great brushing habits from a very early age.
Daily brushing is vital for removing the plaque bacteria that can form in the mouth during the day. It helps to clear away and bits of food that have lodged between teeth, and it keeps breath fresh and clean.
Problems that form as a result of tooth decay when a child is young can get carried through into their adult lives. While it is easy to assume that baby teeth will get replaced with adult teeth, it is important that both sets of teeth are cared for.
While you should be cleaning a child’s teeth when they are younger, it is important that you teach your child to brush their own teeth as soon as they are able to. Using fluoride toothpaste, you should teach your child to brush their teeth in the morning and evening, and for two minutes each time.
SEE ALSO: Are Your Kids Using Too Much Toothpaste?
Using fluoride is one of the most effective ways of fighting tooth decay.
If you are a caregiver who is teaching a child to brush, you might want to brush your teeth together every day. This will help the child to learn through imitation. Make it as fun as possible so that it doesn’t feel like a chore and do your best to encourage them to clean every part of their mouths.
Fluoride In Water Prevents Cavities! Get it From The Tap
Fluoride is a natural mineral that has great benefit in preventing tooth decay. Although your child should be using fluoride toothpaste, there are additional sources of fluoride that they could be getting in order to avoid cavities and tooth decay. One of the best sources of fluoride is tap water. By drinking tap water often, you will be giving your child additional fluoride to help them fight the risk of tooth decay.
To help get the message about drinking tap water across to kids in a fun way, the American Dental Association has created a poster to promote this fact.
Maintaining A Healthy Diet To Avoid Tooth Decay
Sugary foods and drinks can lead to bacteria forming on the teeth which could bring about tooth decay. It is vital that children are given this information at a young age, and, as caregivers, you are monitoring the number of sugary foods and drinks your child is getting.
Moderation is key and learning about the appropriate levels of sugar that a child can have in their diet is as important to parents, caregivers, and teachers, just as much as the child themselves.
Visiting The Dentist Regularly
Visiting a child-friendly dentist will help to get your child used to have a routine check-up. Some kids don’t like to go to the dentist or can be a bit scared. This is perfectly normal. Try and make the experience as fun as possible, and reward them with an activity that they enjoy as a treat for being brave. Building up positive associations with a trip to the dentist now will mean that they will regularly visit as they get older and will not have anxiety relating to this.
Of course, your family dentist will be able to help to make your child feel totally at ease. Talk with your child’s dentist if you have any concerns surrounding their appointment.
Southeast Family Dental reminds parents that their children can avoid cavities. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth daily, eating a healthy diet that limits sugary beverage and snacks, and seeing your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease are the keys to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
There are four fun activity sheets that children can enjoy using. These sheets are designed to help children learn all about the importance of looking after their teeth, and how they can go about doing so.
Fun Activity Sheets for Kids
Looking to make brushing time with your kids more fun? Elmo, along with his celebrity friends including Bruno Mars and Nicole Kidman, are here to help with their Brushy Brush PSA.