February is Children’s Dental Health month. It’s important to know the most chronic childhood disease isn’t asthma or obesity—it’s tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says it’s five times more common than asthma and happens four times more often than early-childhood obesity. Tooth decay also occurs 20 times more often than diabetes.
1. Make brushing their teeth a fun activity! Set up a calendar where each day they get to put a sticker on it to show how many days they brushed twice a day. Reward them at the end of the week or month for completing every day’s goal of brushing. Click here to get a printable brushing chart.
2. Start a routine and stick to It. Don’t forget about flossing! The earlier your children start, the earlier it will become a good habit they will sorely miss if they skip a day! Use Children’s Dental Health Month to show the importance of brushing and flossing.
Dental problems affect so many children each school year. Research shows students lose 51 million school hours due to dental-related illnesses. It starts early: one out of every four children stepping into a kindergarten class has never been to the dentist.
3. Make a trip to the dentist a fun and exciting experience. Making healthy choices should be celebrated, not something feared. Make sure you frame the visit positively. Before your Childs first dental visit at Oakton Family Dentistry, we send you a book, personalized with your child’s name, which you can read to them before their first visit to help them understand what we will be doing when they come in.
4. Make up a story about brushing away sugar bugs using your child’s favorite characters. Elsa, Ana and Spiderman LOVE to brush their teeth!
5. Make it a family affair. Your children are learning from you, so it’s important to set a good example. It may be motivating for your child if you allow them to brush your sugar bugs away and then you can brush your child’s sugar bugs away.
Brushing and flossing regularly along with regular cleanings at the dentist will help keep tooth decay at bay through childhood. The benefits of good oral health will then carry on into adulthood. Studies show oral health impacts overall health.
Having healthy teeth as a child and continuing it as an adult can help lower your risk of life threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Your little ones’ smiles are worth the extra effort and attention…all year round!
Call Oakton Family Dentistry today to schedules your child’s next check-up!