Whole Family Dental Health
- September 17, 2016
As parents, our number one job is to take care of our kids. That means that we help them have all the things they need to grow into productive adults, like food, shelter, and clothing. Now, this responsibility extends beyond just the physical stuff that we can see and touch. It also includes the intangible, like knowledge and skills they need for adulthood. We don’t think a whole lot about that intangible part, but we are teaching our kids every day through our actions. That is one of the constants of having children: they are always watching you. You shape the people they are going to be through the actions you take on a daily basis, and no area is more shaped by a parent than the area of dental hygiene. Be the example of good dental hygiene that your kids need, and help them to have great smiles throughout their entire lives because of it.
Build Healthy Dental Habits
Good dental hygiene habits start at home with parents. Here are some areas from our Burke, VA family dental team that can start affecting positive change in your child’s routine today.
Brush and Floss Together – Kids are great at picking up skills. I mean, just look at how awesome your kid has gotten at playing Halo 3! That’s a little joke, but seriously, they are always watching and picking up on how they think they should be doing something. Help your young ones get the hang of brushing their teeth the right way by brushing your teeth with them. Let them see how you get all sides of your teeth, not the just the front. Let them see how you after you spit once, you go back in and get them all another time. Help them see that it needs to be a thorough cleaning, and not just a quick scrub-and-done. Next, teach them how to floss, and show them that it needs to be a priority. More than half the adults in this country are walking around with some form of gum disease. That percentage would be a lot lower if more people gave flossing the time and effort it deserves.
Cut out the Sweets – This is not to say that you can’t eat candy or other sweets at all, but rather that you should eat it judiciously. Kids love sugar, and candy has a lot of it. Showing them that eating candy in moderation, and also what to do afterward (brushing and flossing), is important and will go a long way toward helping them have healthy smiles. A healthy snack can be just as rewarding as that candy bar, and their teeth will reap the benefits of that choice.
Pick up Some Apples – We were just talking about healthy snacks, and here is one of nature’s perfect ones. An apple tastes good, is good for you, and will help you keep a fresh mouth throughout the day. Let your kids see you eating apples instead of chips at lunch or for a snack. Pack one in their lunch for school, and have them available around the house. No one has ever gotten a cavity or developed gum disease because they were eating too many apples. Help your kids find a better way to snack, and lead them to the wonderful world of apples.
Go to the Dentist – Your kid goes to the dentist while they are young because you make them. That is part of being a good parent. But once they get older, the only reason for them to go to the dentist is that they know they should. Sadly, for many people, that drive to the dentist doesn’t follow them into adulthood. Show your kids that the dentist is a priority by not only making them go but by seeing you go, too. Schedule your regular dental appointments and keep them. Let them see that real life cannot come between them and the health of their smile.
Drink More Water and Less Soda – Soda is horrible for your teeth as an adult, and even more so when you are a kid. Cutting out soda from your household will only do good things for the smiles of your family. Replace soda with some ice water and maybe add a little lemon for flavor (the citric acid is diluted and shouldn’t be a worry). This gives you a tasty beverage that has no sugar, tastes good, and will help you rehydrate after your long day.