Happy Dental Hygiene Month!
Happy National Dental Hygiene Month! October is Dental Hygiene Month and to celebrate we wanted to share our top 5 tips to maintaining AWESOME oral hygiene for your kiddos! So without further adieu here they are…
1. Establish a Dental Hygiene Routine and Stick to it!
Creating a routine is essential when it comes to proper oral health because it allows children to develop self-discipline and create healthy habits. When creating a dental hygiene routine, it is important to make sure you leave enough time for adequate brushing and flossing twice a day. So that means brushing and flossing in the morning, after breakfast and brushing and flossing in the evening before bedtime. How long should my kids brush their teeth? Well, we typically tell children to brush continuously while they sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice (roughly two minutes).
2. Choose Snacks and Drinks Wisely
We know, it’s 2017 and reminding you to choose snacks and drinks wisely for your children seems a bit redundant but you’d be surprised. You want to avoid sugary, starchy snacks and sugary drinks. This means avoiding fruit snacks, candy, chips, cookies, pop, fruit drinks and any sports drink. You can replace these poor choices with healthy ones like string cheese, almonds, popcorn, greek yogurt, vegetables, hummus and water. Remember, water is the only beverage that does not cause decay.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Drinking water is ALWAYS a good idea. It doesn’t matter if your glass is half full or empty, just drink it and encourage your kids to as well! Ideally, we would ask your children to make sure they are drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps our system deliver nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps our muscles moving. It also helps keep our mouth clean by flushing away any left over food particles or sugary residue. Drinking water with fluoride will also strengthen your teeth and fight dry mouth (dry mouth can put you at risk for tooth decay). Drinking water does a body good!
4. Make Sure Your Children are Visiting Their Dentist Twice a Year
A professional dental cleaning and check up is recommended by the the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry every six months starting at the age of 1. Regular visits to the dentist allows us to focus on preventative dentistry by being able to detect early signs of decay and dental disease. It also allows us to make sure that your child’s teeth are coming in properly and most importantly, it allows us to build a friendship with your child where they are comfortable and may even look forward to their dental check ups!
5. Be a Good Role Model
Little eyes are everywhere and they are watching how you and other adults in their household take care of their teeth. Make sure your children see you brush and floss your teeth in the morning and before bed. Avoid drinking pop or eating candy in front of your children. Instead grab an apple as a snack and drink lots of water. Make oral hygiene a family affair- after all, monkey see, monkey do!