Smile Smarts: Tips and Advice for Dental Care for Kids

Smile Smarts: Tips and Advice for Dental Care for Kids

Are you looking to better your children’s oral health habits?

Let’s face it, kids aren’t always the best at brushing and flossing their teeth on a routine basis. They also happen to have a sweet tooth for junk foods that tend to contain high traces of sugar.

When we pair these two factors together, it’s not exactly surprising that many children are failing to maintain their oral health. While it’s important for children to develop strong oral health habits, it’s more important for parents to instill these habits.

If you want to ensure that your kids are committing to good oral health, this one’s for you. Read on to discover six tips on dental care for kids today.

1. Lead By Example

First, what type of dental habits do you showcase to your children?

You can preach the importance of good oral health all you want. But, at the end of the day, if you’re not showcasing yourself brushing and flossing on a routine basis, it’s not likely to stick.

Don’t hesitate to brush and floss alongside and in front of your children. Remember, at a young age, children experience enjoyment in mimicking their parents. In witnessing your brushing and flossing habits, they’re naturally going to feel more inclined to do the same thing.

2. Reduce Sugar in Their Diets

Ah, yes, sugar. We hear this all the time and it continues to reign true -it’s finally time to reduce your children’s sugar intake.

This means reducing the amount of junk food and soda that they’re consuming on a daily basis. But, it also means reducing certain unexpected foods that are unknowingly laced with sugar.

Half the time that children are consuming high-sugar foods, they’re unaware that these foods contain sugar in the first place. As a parent, it’s important to understand which foods have a high sugar count. To name a few:

  • Flavored yogurt
  • Sporting drinks
  • Ketchup and BBQ sauce
  • Canned fruit
  • Cereal bars
  • Pre-made smoothies
  • Breakfast cereal

As a general rule, it’s not recommended to have greater than six teaspoons of added sugar in a day. This is especially the case for children.

3. Brush, Brush, Brush

It might sound simple, but routine brushing is one of the best dental care habits any child could possess.

According to the American Dental Association, children and adults alike should be brushing their teeth twice a day. This brushing should take approximately two minutes and should always be done with fluoride toothpaste.

If brushing isn’t your child’s favorite past time, there are simple steps that you can take to make the process more fun. Try switching out their old, boring toothbrush for something more fun and exciting. This could be a toothbrush in the shape of an animal or branded with a character from their favorite television show.

4. It’s Time to Floss

When’s the last time you saw your child flossing?

Unfortunately, we’re not referring to the recent Floss Dance that has dominated grade-three classes everywhere. While this type of flossing has become popular, it’s not exactly going to benefit your teeth and gums.

More important than the coveted Floss Dance, routine flossing is incredibly beneficial to your child’s oral hygiene. Flossing helps to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of plaque altogether. When kids learn the importance of flossing from an early age, they can look forward to developing strong and healthy gums.

In reality, flossing can be challenging for young children. In addition to showing your children how to floss, you can always try flossing for them. Sooner or later, they’ll be able to commit to doing so independently.

5. Use a Straw

Of course, it’s always beneficial to cut down on sugary drinks that your children are consuming. This could be anything from fruit juice and soda to sport’s drinks and chocolate milk.

However, it’s also understood that breaking a sugary drink habit doesn’t exactly happen overnight. If you’re having a hard time bidding farewell to your children’s soda habit, try using a straw to minimize the harm. In using a straw, you’re going to reduce the exposure to sugar to the tooth.

In the effort of being more environmentally friendly, opt for a reusable straw. In today’s day and age, there are plenty of metal and plastic reusable straws that don’t end up in a landfill.

6. Book Routine Dentist Appointments

At the end of the day, one of the most important things you can do for your child’s oral health is to visit the dentist.

Sure, this isn’t exactly an eight-year-olds favorite place on the planet. But it’s a crucial appointment and is going to get them in the habit of visiting the dentist regularly.

In addition to your children going to the dentist, they’ll also benefit from knowing that you, too, visit the dentist. While it’s easy to speak poorly about going to the dentist, try minimizing this negative self-talk. Instead, focus on how sparkling clean your child’s teeth are going to feel after visiting the dentist

To make these visits slightly more enticing, you can always practice the art of reward. A small reward can go a long way in making these visits more bearable for all parties involved.

Dental Care for Kids

Providing the right dental care for kids isn’t always easy.

Unlike adults, kids don’t always have the knowledge or natural interest in upkeeping their health. In truth, poor habits as kids are all the more likely to develop into poor habits as they age and become adults.

This is why it’s so important to teach your children good dental habits from a young age. When they grow up understanding the importance of routine brushing, flossing, and upkeep, they’re going to continue these habits in the future.

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