How healthy are your family’s teeth? They might not be as healthy as you think! According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), tooth decay is the most common childhood condition, affecting more children than asthma. Tooth decay leads to cavities, and unfortunately, there are many children who suffer from untreated cavities, which can lead to further oral health problems.
Making your family’s oral health a priority is important. Could you be doing more to improve your family’s oral health? The following might just give you some food for thought.
Keep an eye out for key milestones
It’s important to start good dental habits at a young age, so taking care of children’s teeth from an early age is important. Do you know when you started teething? Babies can start teething from as early as three months, so consult a baby teething chart to measure their progress and help you learn what to expect. Teething can be a really tough time for kids, so be prepared for some sleepless nights around this time.
Lead by example to encourage good habits
Do you brush your teeth twice a day, every day? You’ll be surprised at how many people don’t. Brushing twice a day, as well as using mouthwash and flossing forms part of the perfect oral health routine and keep cavities and gum problems at bay. Lead by example by making your oral health a key part of your daily routine to normalize things and help your kids to see the importance of looking after their teeth. Any parent will tell you that it’s hard to get their kids to look after their teeth, but you just need to keep at it. How do you encourage your kids to keep their teeth clean?
Make it fun!
Being healthy can often be seen as boring, but you can make it more fun for your kids – and for you too! From choosing a fun and funky toothbrush, flavored toothpaste to using an electric toothbrush, there are ways to involve your kids in their oral hygiene and make it more exciting.
We recently went the activated charcoal toothpaste route so it has been fun watching our mouths turn black for a moment!
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Cut down on sugar
Sugar is a serious cause of problems with teeth. The occasional bit of candy now and then is fine, but do you know about all of the other sugar that could be in your diet without you realizing? Hidden sugar in food is found in everything from cereal to the sauces you pick up at the supermarket. This hidden sugar could be affecting your oral health, as well as contributing to other health problems like weight gain. Do you know how much sugar you eat day to day? Start checking the labels – it’ll help you make better choices.
Try making some healthier food swaps to make it easier to cut back on sugar. There’s a lot to be said for some home cooking to help you know exactly what you’re eating, and teaches the whole family some good eating habits too. Try to cut back on sugar-filled snacks and opt for healthier options instead. Soft drinks are a big source of sugar intake, as well as being high in calories, so think about cutting back on how many of these you drink to help you limit how much sugar is in your diet.
Help calm fear of the dentist
Fear of the dentist is pretty common, but if you’ve got a fear of going for a check-up, you could end up passing it onto your children too. Face up to whatever is behind your concerns to help overcome your fear of the dentist once and for all. You can help make it easier for kids to feel at ease going to the dentist by making it as simple as stress-free as possible, and talk about the dentist in a positive light. Helping them to practice good oral hygiene will mean that there is less of a chance of having issues that would need a filling or other type of treatment.
Your oral health is important, and making sure the whole family takes care of their teeth and gums will help prevent health problems, as well as ensure everyone has a beautiful smile. A safe and happy family home depends on many things, including maintaining your health. Could you improve your family’s oral health? Start making it a priority today for better health all-round.
CHIME IN: How do you maintain consistency with oral health for your family, especially children? Let me know in the comments below!