Guest Post: Positive Habits Lead to Prolonged Dental Health
Posted Mar 24 2011 12:00am
Their teeth may be little, but they’re still important. They need to be cared for and protected, first by you and then by them. It is worth the cost of getting your child dental insurance to cover the costs of preventative care. Your child will only get one set of permanent teeth, and he has to learn how to keep them safe and healthy.
Regular brushing is only the beginning of dental care. Your child should get in the habit of brushing teeth at least twice a day, if not three times a day. This starts by you physically brushing her teeth for her. It progresses to you supervising as he brushes them, and then they get to brush their pearly whites all on their own.
• Tip – Make brushing fun by letting your child choose a brush she adores. • Tip – Electric toothbrushes actually are more effective, they’re not expensive, and kids get a kick out of them.
Brushing is not the end of it, however. Flossing is vital for preventing gingivitis and cavities. Plaque build-up around the backs of the teeth can be kept largely at bay with regular flossing.
• Tip – Buy the flossing picks so your son doesn’t have to cram his hand into his mouth. Flossing is easier and more comfortable, and your child will be more willing to do it.
Regular visits to the dentist are important, starting at about the age of 3. Just because the baby teeth will fall out doesn’t mean they can’t be cared for. Starting the habit of dentist visits at a younger age will help your child feel more comfortable in the chair as he grows.
• Tip – Ask around with friends and family to find a dentist who is good with kids. When you visit the office, go in the room with your child. Any dentist who is as good with kids as he claims will not have an issue with you being in the room.
The downside of dentist visits is that they can be expensive. As your children grow and cavities become a concern, dental work can really start to break the bank. Get dental insurance for your child so he can always receive the care he needs.
Eating habits affect the teeth. Drinking large amount of pop and crunching on hard candy can be detrimental to the health of your child’s teeth. Sticky candies like taffy and caramel can stick to the teeth and encourage bacterial growth. Popcorn can get wedged between the teeth and gums, causing painful irritation. The kernels can also cause damage if they are bitten down on too hard.
Other dangers to their teeth include falling asleep with a bottle or sippy cup in the mouth. The sugars from the juice or milk will accelerate decay, potentially causing your child pain. Sucking a thumb or pacifier for extended periods of time can create an overbite and other issues with dental alignment. Try to get your child into positive habits from an early age for the best dental health they can have.
Dental care does begin at the table, and some foods are better for teeth than others. For the greatest dental health, encourage these foods in your home. Cheese, chicken, nuts, milk and meats are all good choices for the teeth. They help protect the enamel by providing necessary calcium and phosphorus. Crunchy fruits like apples and pears are also excellent choices.
Now you are ready to teach your child everything she needs to know to keep her teeth in top chomping condition. You may also want to talk to your dentist about fluoride treatments and sealing the molars for added protection. After all, your child will only get one set of permanent teeth, and you want to keep them healthy.
About the Author
Sally is a 29 year old writer who is passionate about health and wellness, green living and nutrition. In her free time she enjoys playing with her two English bulldogs.