Healthy teeth do more than look nice in your family pictures, they allow your child to eat all types of foods and keep good nutrition habits, develop proper pronunciation and clear speech, and to have a positive self-image as they grow. But we understand the battle of brushing and flossing may be one that sometimes, you chose to surrender after a particularly challenging morning or evening.
With that being said, tooth decay remains the top disease affecting our children. Hope is not lost though, even the loudest protester to a daily brushing and flossing routine will not be destined to a lifetime of tooth decay. Here are 3 low cost and time saving commitments you could make today that will help streamline your daily brushing and flossing routine AND protect your child’s teeth against decay and the occasional wave of the parenting white flag.
1. Sealant and Fluoride Treatments
Prevention always costs less than fixing something once it becomes an issue. Sealants and fluoride are easily applied on the teeth and, as research shows, provide effective protection against bacteria and tooth decay. While sealants and fluoride are not a replacement for good brushing and flossing habits, they can provide an extra layer of protection, especially for those hard to reach teeth.
2. Early and regular visits the dentist. Studies have shown that bringing your child to the dentist early, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child has their first appointment by the age of one (1) and, making regular (every 6 months) visits greatly reduces the likelihood of early childhood cavities. The first couple of appointments are intended to look at the child’s teeth, and educate the parent(s) on preventative care habits. Establishing an early and regular routine for a child allows them to become comfortable during their dental visits and educate them on the importance of brushing and flossing, and the potential problems it prevents.
3. Make it fun instead of a chore.
Even adults have trouble keeping up with a regular oral hygiene routine, so it’s not a surprise that children do not run squealing with delight when it’s time to brush. Find a fluoridated toothpaste flavor they enjoy, use hand held flossers with kid friendly designs, and let your child choose where in the home they want to brush their teeth. The best routine is one that is easy to complete and maintain, so if hanging upside down off the couch gets your child to brush then let them do it, also some of those positions actually let parents see and brush all the teeth much better.
Our teeth are one of the only structures in the body that at certain points cannot repair itself, this makes it even more important to keep a good oral hygiene routine. Choosing even one of these tips to try, will go a long way to helping you and your child maintain a healthy mouth, body, and the active lifestyle that you and your family enjoy.