Great Dental Habits to Teach Your Children
Raising kids these days takes ingenuity, patience and a lot of love. It also means having to create those useful habits that will help our kids grow up to be strong individuals who can take care of themselves. With longer life expectancies, we also want to teach them how to stay healthy to take care of their bodies during that longer life. One aspect of this that can sometimes get overlooked is instilling good dental health habits at a young age.
While it wasn’t that many decades ago that a trip to the dentist was something you only did if something felt wrong, today we know that getting kids to the dentist as soon as their little teeth are filling their mouths will ensure a healthy body as well a better life. Some dentists, like Great Start Children’s Dentistry even specialize in working with kids, getting them comfortable with the idea of making a trip to the dentist part of their healthy habits that will take them through life. In addition, you can help your kids by getting them to get into the habit of smart dental care. Here are a few ideas to get you and your family started down the road to real dental health all their lives.
Start Daily Habits Early
We know that any good habit takes time to take root. But getting your kids into the habit of brushing after every meal and before they head to bed, you can get those habits started now. You can make it a “Dad and me” or “Mom and me” time by doing it with them so it is fun and sharing instead of just a chore they will want to find a way to skip.
Flossing is now a part of this type of routine and we know that by flossing we strengthen the gums that support those little teeth. Talk to your dentist to find out the best time to get them started on this all important dental health habit. If they have problems handling the floss, there are commercially available floss holders to help and your dentist may even have samples to hand out to help get them used to them.
Skip the Sugary Drinks
It may seem like a tough thing to do, but banning soft drinks in the home will be a decision that will help your children all their lives. We were never allowed to have them in our home when I was growing up, and so I never developed a taste for them. While most kids will still find ways to drink soda outside your home, the acid and sugar in them does destroy teeth enamel and will lead to major damage later in life such as cracks and split teeth.
In addition, if they do have sweets in the home, they should be told that they need to brush as soon as they have finished their snack. This will cut down on the amount of sugar combining with the saliva in their mouth that creates an acid bath that can also be destructive to the enamel coating that protects their teeth.
Just these two simple decisions make a huge difference to your child’s future dental health and will leave them with a gift of a full healthy mouth of teeth well into old age.