Getting kids to do anything they don’t want to can be a challenge. On the flip side, stopping them from doing something they want to is equally, if not more difficult. So in order to get them to take care of their teeth, sometimes you have to get clever. Here’s some tips on what not to do when it comes to kid’s dental health.
When it comes to diet, we all know the basics on what to avoid to maintain healthy teeth, but some of those childhood staples, are just as bad as a candy bar. A number one offender when it comes to tooth decay, is a peanut butter sandwich on white bread. The sticky peanut butter gets between the teeth where they’re most vulnerable to cavities, and the white bread provides the sugar to deal the final blow.
Sticky, sugary items such as fruit snacks, are also a no-no when it comes to keeping kid’s teeth healthy. Another food item, that is commonly considered healthy, but should be consumed in moderation when it comes to dental health, is fruit juice. Particularly apple juice, which is extremely sugary. The high amount of sugar, and liquid form, lead to an assault on teeth that can be damaging if consumed in excess. Choosing whole wheat bread over white bread, diluting and limiting the intake of juice, and treating fruit snacks as a treat, rather than a snack, are all ways you can help your child achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
When it comes to dental hygiene, most of us know what we should be doing by now. There are some common mistakes when it comes to kids and brushing however, that can be easily avoided. One mistake kids often make when brushing, is brushing for too short of an amount of time. This can be solved by setting a timer, or even more fun choosing a fun, two to three minute song, and have your kids brush for the duration of the song.
Another issue, especially for smaller kids, is allowing them to brush unsupervised. There’s no way to know for sure if your kid is brushing their teeth properly, or even at all, if you’re not their watching. With proper brushing in their formative years, kids will learn to maintain habits that will help them throughout their lives.
So parents, aside from having your kids brush twice daily, floss regularly, and visit the dentist twice a year, there’s some important things to watch out for when it comes to your kids dental health. Avoiding the above “healthy” sugary snacks, and a proper dental hygiene regimen, will not only keep your kid healthy, and save you money, you’ll be establishing a much better future for your child’s health altogether. A cavity here and there might not seem like a big deal now, but twenty years down the road, when your child is grown and suffering from periodontal disease, you’ll wish you took the time to prevent it back when you had the chance.
Image by Henrik Abelsson Abelsson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons