Those of you who know me, know that I have some pretty severe dental issues going on. No matter how vigilant I was with my dental hygiene, heredity reared its ugly head and I am going through the same issues that my mother and grandmother dealt with as well. So it should come as no surprise that I’m supremely anal when it comes to my kids’ dental hygiene so they do not have to suffer in the manner that I have over the years. Today, I have a guest post for you from Hannah Whittenly that discusses this very topic. Enjoy!
Many parents obsess about their kids’ health in a good way. Good dental hygiene, however, doesn’t seem to get the same type of attention. This is unfortunate because it is essential for kids to have great dental hygiene. Below are five things you should teach your children about routine teeth care.
Teaching a child to properly brush their teeth is essential for good dental health. The habits we pick up as children usually remain with us for life, and changing those habits will get tougher as the years go by. Kids need to be shown how to brush their teeth with a demonstration by the parent. When they get old enough (around five years old), you can let them try brushing themselves while you supervise. Show them how to brush in small circles around their mouth instead of just brushing back and forth. To make sure you seal the deal, watch them do this every single night for months. If you do, it will then turn into a habit.
Next, teach your children good flossing skills. Brushing the teeth is not enough, and all kids need to floss. Show them the floss, and explain how the toothbrush cannot reach all the food that gets between their teeth. The floss is used to get that food out. Next, demonstrate how to use the floss on yourself and then try to carefully use the floss on them. If you can get your kids to floss thoroughly, they will have stronger teeth.
Setting an Example
Set an example for your children. Let them brush their teeth while you are brushing yours to show them how important it is. When they get older, they will have a better understanding of the importance of dental hygiene and if they want to pursue cosmetic dentistry to enhance their smile even more, then can do so easily because their teeth are in great condition.
Try using some experiments to show your kids what brushing their teeth does for them. Soak some eggs in brown carbonated soda until the eggs turn brown. Next, have your child brush the egg with a toothbrush and toothpaste to get the stains off. This teaches them what brushing does for their teeth. If you use teeth whitening yourself you can show them the process that you go through with the trays or strips that you use.
Food and Drinks
You should talk to your children about what they should eat and drink. Make sure you tell your children that consuming a lot of sugary drinks is not good for their teeth. If they chew gum, it should be sugar-free. They need to eat more crunchy foods with fiber to help clean the teeth (like celery and apples), and stay away from eating too much candy. If they do eat something really sweet, they should try to brush their teeth afterward.