Tooth decay is the single most common chronic health ailment of children throughout the United States. The most disheartening thing about this statistic is that tooth decay is almost entirely preventable. Every person, no matter how hold or young, needs to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. For most adults, it is not difficult to remember to brush the teeth, yet children need to be reminded of this important habit. Children are often tired in the early evenings, and if they fall asleep before brushing their teeth, then they go for a very long time with bacteria-laden plaque attacking their teeth. Flossing is the most neglected oral health habit, and it is often difficult for children’s fingers to learn the technique. Parents must take an active role in their children’s oral health to ensure that their teeth and gums stay healthy.
Tips to Boost Your Child’s Oral Health:
- Offer water. Sodas, juice, sports drinks, and even milk are full of sugar. By offering water as a source of hydration you can help prevent decay.
- Set a timer for brushing. Children need to learn how well and how long to brush their teeth. By setting a timer for your children, they can have a goal to work towards. Fun apps are available on iTunes for this specific purpose!
- Reward flossing. As mentioned earlier, flossing is often difficult for children. Consider offering a creative reward for a week’s worth of flossing. Puzzles, getting to pick a movie for “family movie night,” and getting to stay up 15 minutes later are all simple rewards that can encourage daily flossing.
- Be selective with treats. While it is not always easy to eliminate all treats, choosing the best kinds of treats is important. Opt for small treats! Also, opt for chocolate or ice cream over sticky candy that is easily trapped in the teeth.
- Be a good example. Parents are their children’s first teachers. By flossing daily and brushing your teeth twice a day, you are setting the example that oral health care is important. Your children are great imitators – give them something great to imitate!
At Gold Hill Dentistry, we want to encourage all families to do what is necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy smile. We love caring for young smiles, old smiles, and all those smiles in between. Call today to schedule an appointment for your family.
2848 Pleasant Rd, Suite 104
Fort Mill, SC 29708
Phone: (803) 566-8055