The American Dental Association has officially dubbed February as National Children’s Dental Health Month and it’s time to celebrate. Dental professionals across the nation love this month because it builds a foundation of good oral hygiene in their future patients. Parents, teachers, and dentists take this time to focus on young ones and to create great habits that will hopefully last a lifetime. Just like many things in life, your mouth and teeth can benefit from proper care right from the start. With so many things in life to worry about, the ADA has put together some key points for children and parents to focus on this month and throughout the year.
*Brush for 2 minutes, 2 times a day. Making dental hygiene a habit the whole family does together can make it fun. Sing a favorite family tune or set a timer to get those 2 minutes in each morning and evening. Brushing can be fun! Make it an event. Maybe even the family pet joins in? Whatever your child will find fun is a great way to start.
*Flossing every single day. Be sure to add flossing time to that brushing routine each day. Brushing alone leaves behind 35% of your teeth surfaces untouched. Show your children the proper way to floss and invest in fun, easy and colorful tools to encourage daily use. Little fingers often have a difficult time wrapping traditional floss around their fingers. Handheld, toothpick-like individual flossers might be a much easier option.
*Proper nutrition and limited snacks. Showing children how important nutrition is for overall health can also benefit their oral health. Encouraging a healthy, balanced diet with vitamins and minerals, calcium and limited sugar intake is a great place to start. Avoiding constant snacking or grazing helps keep bacteria from forming on teeth.
*Go see the dentist, regularly. Once those first teeth begin to emerge, getting to the dentist is important. Teaching young ones that the dentist office can be fun, how to properly care for their teeth and allowing professionals to get a close view of their development are some of the benefits. Scheduling regular appointments every 6 months ensures any issues that arise are caught early.
Children grow so quickly. They change in every way, growing into toddlers, tweens, teenagers and young adults. Their bodies change. Their priorities and needs change. Throughout all this, the importance of their oral health remains. When parents, teachers, and dentists take the time to help them form good dental habits, they can last a lifetime. Taking care of their smile may not be a priority to them right now, but they will be thankful later in life they have healthy teeth and gums.
If you are a new parent with lots of questions or searching for a new dental home, Foundations of Health Dental Care in St. Joseph, MO is ready to help. Call (816) 233-0142 to get started on the path to oral health for you child this month. National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect time to get started.