February is about a lot more than Valentine’s Day cards and boxes of chocolate—it’s also National Children’s’ Dental Health Month! The American Dental Association and other organizations have been promoting the importance of great oral hygiene in children every February since 1941. Unfortunately, convincing kids to take care of their teeth can be a challenge sometimes. If teaching your kids about oral health is about as fun as pulling teeth, try these five tips from your children’s dentist in Marble Falls to get your little one excited about taking care of their smile!
#1: Celebrate with a Glass of Tap Water
The theme of this year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month is drink more fluoridated tap water. Most community tap waters contain fluoride, the same mineral found in toothpaste. Since it significantly boosts the strength of enamel and resists decay, it’s important that your child gets plenty of fluoride. So start the celebration with a glass of tap water!
#2: Make Toothbrushing a Fun Routine
No one wants to brush their teeth every day if it feels like a chore. You can help make this important habit fun for your son or daughter by playing their favorite song for two minutes while they brush or letting them pick out a fun-flavored toothpaste with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval. Additionally, you can be a great role model by brushing your teeth with them.
#3: Teach Them and Yourself How to Floss
Even though flossing is not a particularly fun pastime for many of us, instilling this habit early in your child’s life is crucial to preventing cavities and gum disease later. Take a moment to remind yourself how to floss properly with resources from the American Dental Association before teaching your son or daughter. To keep them engaged, try flavored floss or a smart phone app that tracks their progress.
#4: Swap Sugar with Smile-Friendly Snacks
Another important habit to teach your child early in life is to choose healthy snacks over sugary ones. Try swapping out chips, cookies, and candy with food that can reduce the likelihood of cavities and strengthen your teeth, like cheese, broccoli, fish, nuts, and yogurt. This habit is great for their overall health as well as their smile!
#5: Conquer Dental Anxiety Early
Your little one’s dentist can make a better first impression if you visit them before your son or daughter has a cavity or toothache. Introducing your child to the new sights, sounds, and friendly faces they’ll find at their dentist’s office will help them associate dental care with positive memories. If they conquer dental anxiety early, they’ll be much more at-ease about getting regular oral healthcare as they grow.
This February, teach your kids (and remind yourself) that oral healthcare can be fun! Teaching your child healthy habits now will set them up for a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles!
About the Author
Ritchie Dental Group in Marble Falls, TX is proud to provide effective and comfortable oral healthcare for the whole family. Dr. Greg Ritchie and his friendly staff always go the extra mile to put their younger patients at ease, so both you and your little one can be as comfortable as possible. Additionally, checkups and cleanings for children usually include fluoride treatments to keep their teeth strong and resistant to cavities. If you’d like more tips on taking care of your son or daughter’s smile, feel free to contact Dr. Ritchie via his website or (830) 693-8833.