While love and chocolate most commonly come to mind in the month of February, did you know that February is also National Children’s Dental Month? An American Dental Association (ADA) initiative, National Children’s Dental Month is a time to promote the many benefits of good oral health in children. If children begin practicing good oral health at an early age, they are setting themselves up for a lifetime of success. As a parent or guardian, there are many things you can do to promote good oral health in your children. Here are our top five suggestions on ways to get your kids in good habits now.
- Set a good example.
One of the best ways you can help your children with their dental hygiene is by practicing good dental hygiene yourself. Make sure you’re in the habit of brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Also, don’t forget to floss once a day. Let your kids see you do these things and talk to them about the reasons why you do these every day. If they see you doing this as part of your daily routine, they will be more likely to regularly practice these things as well.
2. Get a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.
Much like getting new school supplies at the beginning of a school year can be motivating, allowing your kids to pick out a cool new toothbrush, a fun flavor of toothpaste, and their very own dental floss can help motivate them to practice good dental hygiene. The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months to avoid brushing with frayed and flattened bristles, so it’s likely your child may need a new toothbrush anyway. Since flossing can be one of the more difficult habits to form in children, you may consider buying your child dental flossers made specifically for kids. Not only do these flossers come in fun colors and flavors, but they are also made specifically for kids’ mouths and your child may find them easier to use than regular dental floss.
3. Consider a tooth brushing app.
Since there seems to be an app for everything these days, you may not be surprised to learn that there are apps available that can help your kids with brushing their teeth. One popular app is called brushDJ that plays music while your child brushes her teeth for the allotted two-minute time. Another great app is called Brush Up. This app uses your phone’s camera as a sort of mirror so your child can see himself brushing his teeth while a video teaches the correct method. The video of your child brushing is then saved on the app and will reward your child points for proper brushing technique. There are many options out there, so you’ll want to do your own research to find the app that best suits your child’s needs.
4. Check out the ADA website.
To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, the ADA has posted multiple coloring pages and activity worksheets for children on their website. These resources are free and a fun way to get your kids excited about dental health. Check out the many resources from the ADA here.
5. Schedule an appointment.
If you don’t already have dentist appointments on the calendar, February is the perfect time to make an appointment for your children to have a routine checkup and dental cleaning. It is recommended that your children visit the dentist twice a year, and if they get in the habit of doing this now, they will be much more likely to go to the dentist regularly as adults.
We hope that you will take advantage of National Children’s Dental Health Month by helping get your kids excited about taking care of their teeth. We at Cornerstone Family Dentistry would love to help you and your children with your dental needs, so please make an appointment with us today!