One of the most important aspects of your child’s health is their oral health. It is easy to take care of your dental health, but far too many people neglect it. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 children under 11 years old have at least one decayed tooth that has been left untreated.
You can prevent cavities or more serious dental health issues just by teaching your child the importance of daily brushing and flossing.
Watching Your Younger Kids Brush
With dental health, it is not something kids learn perfectly from day one. With kids younger than 6, you want to supervise them every time they brush or floss their teeth. Make sure they are brushing twice a day at least, and that they reach all of their teeth evenly. There are a lot of phone apps offering 2-minute timers that go off with each quadrant. Teach the proper method of brushing, as well as making sure they only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Introduce Flossing Early
A common mistake people make is assuming flossing is optional, or doesn’t need to be done until their kids have a full mouth of teeth. But, the earlier you introduce flossing, the easier it will be for your kids to turn it into a habit. Typically, once your kids have two teeth next to each other, it is a good time to teach them about gentle flossing.
Make Brushing Time Fun
Kids don’t love brushing their teeth – but there are many ways you can make it more enjoyable for them. Get bright and fun toothbrushes with their favorite characters, fruit-flavored toothpaste they pick out, and set up their bathroom in a fun way for the kids so they don’t mind being in there.
Keep Their Diet in Check
Just like adults, kids need to be careful about what they consume, as things like sugar and acid can break down the enamel of the teeth. This means reducing added sugars in their foods, being careful with foods that contain a lot of acid or starch, and just aiming for a balanced diet. For drinks, water is always best. Be careful about sugary juices and sodas.
With these simple methods, you can teach your kids the importance of oral health, and make sure they know it is a habit they do every day, just like eating or washing their hands.