As a parent, you have many things to worry about with your children. Dental problems can be a continual source of stress and financial burden. Because most dental problems are preventable, you can eliminate this from your list of concerns by taking important steps to keep your children’s teeth and gums healthy.
Oversee their Brushing and Flossing
Children should not brush or floss their own teeth unsupervised until they can tie their shoes and write their names in cursive. Up to that time, a parent should perform the tasks for them. Once they can take responsibility, the parents still needs to oversee the process, whether through directly watching them or by evaluating their teeth and gums afterward.
Children do not have the hand skills necessary to adequately remove all the dental plaque from the teeth and gums on their own. We love using plaque disclosing tablets, like these from GUM, to help you monitor your child’s ability to clean his or her own teeth.
Model a Commitment to Your Own Dental Health
Your example is much more powerful than your words. If you remain committed to your own dental health, with great oral hygiene and consistent dental visits, your children will grow up assuming the importance of good oral health.
While cavities do not technically run in families, we see many things that do. Factors like fear of the dentist, a lack of home care, inconsistent dental visits, waiting until a dental problem causes significant pain to seek help all tend to “ruin n families”.
Those who grow up in families where the parents performed brushing and flossing tasks daily and in front of the children tend to form the same habits themselves. What you value often translates into what your children will value.
Provide Healthy Snacks
This is a relatively simple one. Most children do not do their own grocery shopping. If the pantry and refrigerator only contain healthy items that have a low risk for causing cavities, your children will automatically have less opportunities to eat the unhealthy items that make cavities likely. By providing them with cheese, raw veggies, and nuts instead of crackers, cookies, and chips, you can lower their risk for cavities.
Don’t Stock the Fridge with Sugary Drinks
Beverages with high sugar levels play a huge role in cavity risk among children. Kids who drink sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices more than they drink water are constantly bathing their teeth in sugar, which feeds the bacteria responsible for cavities.
The best tactic is to reserve sugary beverages for special occasions as a treat with a meal. Enjoying a soda with a meal carries a lower risk than having one by itself, so you should always avoid using sugary drinks as a between-meal “snack”.
Keep Consistent Dental Visits for Them
Your kids need to see the dentist. As we mentioned earlier, most dental problems are preventable. However, we can only prevent them when we see your children consistently and catch warning signs of risk factors.
The professional teeth cleanings and fluoride treatments your child undergoes at each visit with the dentist are instrumental in strengthening the teeth in their fight against bacteria and decay.
More Questions about Keeping Your Children Healthy?
Call Prosper Family Dentistry at 972-347-1145 today to schedule an evaluation for your child. Dr. Jill, Dr. Cara and Dr. Summer will assess your child’s situation and inform you of any risk factors that need to be addressed in order to keep him or her completely healthy!