The start of a New Year is very exciting and full of possibility. It is a great time to reflect on our lives and think about the things that are most important to us. We often make resolutions to go to the gym more, eat junk food less and to be healthier overall. This year, let’s resolve to help motivate and encourage our children to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Here are some ways to encourage healthy teeth and gums in children:
Resolution #1: Make brushing fun.
It is important for children to brush at least twice daily and floss. Younger children, under age 6, will need the help of an adult to brush the harder to reach areas. To encourage children to brush after every meal, allow them to pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Look for a toothbrush with soft bristles and a fluoride containing toothpaste. Download a favorite song and play it for your child during brushing (about 2 minutes) or sing a simple song such as ABC’s with them while brushing. Also, brushing as a family can be encouraging for children.
Resolution #2: Spruce up flossing.
Dental flossers are an easier way to floss while children are building dexterity. The flossers come in different designs, colors and flavors. Let children pick out their own floss or flossers to make flossing more fun.
Resolution #3: Visit your Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentist are specially trained to interact with and cater to the needs of children. Visit your pediatric dentist every 6 months for regular check ups.
Resolution #4: Nutrition
Research shows that there is a strong relationship between diet and oral health. A well balanced diet plays a major role in the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Teaching children good health habits early on will lead to a lifetime of healthy living. Allowing children to participate in preparing meals or choosing healthy snacks can help encourage eat healthier.
Resolution #5: Wear a mouthguard
Wear a mouthguard during contact sports. Ask your pediatric dentist about customfit mouthguards for the best protection. Wearing a mouthguard will protect a child’s teeth, as well as their lips, cheeks and gums, and may reduce the forces that can cause concussions, neck injuries and jaw fractures.
Practicing these resolutions will give you and your children plenty of reasons to smile this year!