How important is kids oral care and what’s your role? Let’s talk about it!
But first, let’s establish a foundational tooth truth. Brushing teeth is not optional. You make your kids bathe, right? (Okay. The pool counts.) Kids oral health is especially important because not only are their teeth a valuable asset but by establishing a healthy routine, this hygiene habit follows your kids into adulthood. Like puppies. Here are some evidence-based and/or fun kids oral health facts.
Kids should brush twice a day.
Every day. Listen. I don’t make the rules. Blame the ADA.
Floss. Floss. Floss. Floss. Floss.
(Join me in a rhythmic, fist-pumping chant.)
Create healthy routines at an early age.
Establish a morning and evening time to brush. Model by brushing your teeth with them (or before you help them.) Rabbit trail: This is an ideal time to ask your Alexa to play Raffi’s “Brush Your Teeth” song. It’s a classic and kids love the interaction and playtime. Make it FUN! Another rabbit trail. Find an app that supports teeth brushing for kids. Also interactive and fun. But really, just take two minutes to spend time together while teaching stuff and things. Because when they’re older, they won’t want to a) brush their teeth at all b) refuse to let you help c) believe that tooth decay can happen to them. Teens are masters of denial. But that’s another blog titled “Teens. They’ll Lose Their Retainer. And You’ll Have To Pay For Another One.”
Choose snacks wisely.
Think salty and crunchy vs. sugary and soft. Allow me to self-disclose. I was raised on sweet tea in a bottle. That’s just what you did in West Virginia in the late ’70s. I paid for it until I was an adult and got veneers. Limit sugary drinks and snacks. Repeat number 1 and 2.
Let your kids choose their toothbrush and toothpaste.
Even little ones can be empowered to participate. Make sure the bristles are soft and the toothbrush follows the ADA recommended age guidelines for kids. (Kids need a kid-sized toothbrush.)
For kids up to age three- grain of rice. For kids over three- a pea-sized amount. And make sure to supervise them and teach them to spit it out.
Educate in kid terms.
Talk about “Mr. Placky” (plaque) and why it’s wacky (because he likes to team up with Mr. Sugarbuns and cause cavities. Or something fantastically creative like that.
Get a dental check-up twice a year.
This may be something often underestimated and dismissed. Just as an annual physical is important, so is seeing your dentist. This is an opportunity to catch Mr. Placky being wacky and stop cavities in their tracky. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.) Equally important is finding a dentist experienced in working with kids. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Finding family dental service in your area is easy.
For those local to the Santa Fe area, schedule a checkup with our family dentistry services. We love kids!