10 Tips to Help the Children in Your Life Keep a Healthy Smile
- Lead by example. Show your kids that practicing good oral health is important and can be fun by practicing good oral health yourself.
- Choose a dentist that you and your family will like and trust. It will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
- Take them to the dentist regularly – usually every six months or as directed by your dentist – for routine cleanings and checkups. This is not only good for the mouth; it can also help your child build a comfort level with the dentist.
- Remind them to brush. Always ask your children if they brushed their teeth before they leave for school and when they are getting ready for bed.
- Encourage them to brush at school. A travel toothbrush can be easily packed in your child’s backpack so that he or she can brush after snacks and lunch while at school.
- Teach the importance of flossing. Flossing is just as important as brushing and may also help prevent gum disease. Gum disease may be associated with health complications later in life.
- Make sure your child eats breakfast every day. There’s evidence that young people who eat a high protein breakfast have noticeable reductions in cravings for sweets later in the day.*
- If they’re going to drink soda, have them use a straw. Doing so reduces their teeth’s exposure to sugar.
- Reduce sugar in their diets. Replace sugary snacks and drinks with healthy alternatives, such as fruit, cheese and crackers and water.
- Reward healthy habits. Leave little treats from the “tooth fairy,” every now and then, to reward your child for practicing good oral health.