7 Oral Health Tips to Teach Your Kids

 In oral health

Habits formed young are the hardest to break. And chores we learn to do early in life are the ones that bother us the least when we grow up. You want to raise your child to be happy and healthy, and teaching them good habits while they’re little will be a huge help to them later on. As adults, we often underestimate kids’ ability to understand good sense, but they’re probably smarter than you think! Get them off to a good start with these oral health tips.

1. Don’t Eat Too Many Sweets

A mom talking to her little one in a supermarket says: “Oh, so you want me to buy you some tooth-rotters?” While calling sweets “tooth-rotters” might seem a little extreme, there’s no doubt that we’ve just spotted a child who will never forget the link between sugar and tooth decay!

Whatever your strategy for getting this simple fact across, it’s important that kids know why you buy them sweets as an exception rather than as a rule. Yes, baby teeth will give way to permanent teeth later on, but learning good habits starts at the milk-teeth stage.

2. Soda is Bad for Your Teeth

There’s been a lot of fuss about sugary sodas and how they’re bad for kids. Dentists at Birch Dental Group aren’t the only ones to be worried. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that kids shouldn’t drink as much as a can of soda a week. That might sound fairly stringent, but it’s really good sense.

Apart from the sugar in soft drinks that has the AHA making this recommendation, there’s also the acidity of most sodas. Regular soda-drinking will increase the risk of tooth decay.

3. Natural Snacks are Best

Sugar hides in all sorts of unexpected places – even in savoury snacks. And sugar is not only bad for your teeth, but highly addictive – and we’re not using the word in the metaphorical sense either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy sweet things safely. It just means staying away from processed sugar.

So, encourage your child to eat raisins and fresh fruits and pack yummy natural snacks like nuts into school lunch boxes.

4. Brush Twice a Day

This lesson starts as soon as the first teeth begin to appear. At first, mom or dad will help with tooth brushing, but as children begin to develop physical coordination and the ability to follow instructions, they should start doing it themselves.  At first, you’ll provide supervision, and later, it’s just a matter of reminding them to brush their teeth twice a day.

5. Floss Once a Day

As soon as there are molars, it’s time to introduce the flossing routine. As with brushing, parents can help at first, and by the age of ten, if not sooner, kids should be able to handle their own flossing. You can make it easier for them with floss sticks that hold the floss for them.

6. Don’t Swallow the Toothpaste

To help your kids develop healthy brushing habits, you’re probably choosing a toothpaste they like the taste of. However, it’s important that they learn not to swallow the toothpaste or eat it out of the tube. The reason is simple. A good toothpaste will contain quite a lot of fluoride. And though a little fluoride at low doses is good for teeth, the amount you get in toothpaste is simply too much. It can cause dental fluorodosis which makes the teeth weak.

7. The Dentist is there to Help You

As parents, we often unknowingly transfer our own negative attitudes to our children.  We know that you don’t visit our offices for fun, but you do it because you know we’re here to help you maintain your oral health. Be sure that your child understands the importance of his or her dental visits and be careful to focus on the positives.

As family dentists, we do our utmost to keep dental check up and visits as positive as possible for your little ones. Trust us to help you with forming the right attitude towards dental care.

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