How to Help Your Kids Create Good Oral Hygiene Habits Now

Feb Blog Image

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness!

In America, 51 million hours of school is missed every year due to oral health issues. Although every month should be important when it comes to a child’s dental health, February is the one dedicated to it. Here are things to keep in mind when helping children become conscious of just how important dental hygiene is and exactly how to start creating good habits right away:

  1. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum
  2. Floss, floss, floss
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. When you brush, make sure you hit the 2 minute mark
  5. Visit your dentist regularly

Have you ever seen that amazing “magic trick” when you ask your child “Did you brush your teeth?”  And they respond with a “yes” only because their toothbrush is wet?  Then come to find out, there was no brushing going on, they merely stuck their toothbrush under the faucet and wiped their front teeth once, maybe twice. Now is the perfect time to kick this bad habit!  Dental health can be fun for kids (and adults)!

Here are 4 ways to incorporate some fun and giggles into children’s daily oral care:

Toothpaste – a plethora of choices

Let’s start off with toothpaste.  There are gels, pastes, and so many different flavors; such as cinnamon, vanilla, bubble gum, and variety of different mint flavors.  Let your child choose which one they would prefer.

Flossing – 40% of cleaning your teeth comes from flossing

Floss comes in different flavors as well and also had a variety of textures.  There are waxed, woven, and even the hand held pick form to name a few.

Toothbrush – the master tool

Choosing a toothbrush will probably be your child’s favorite thing to do.  Not only are there options as far as handheld or battery operated, there are TONS of different designs now!  Your child can pick their favorite cartoon character or stick to the basics-like their favorite color.

Brushing Timer – brush 2 min 2x a day

While the tiny sand timers you flip upside down are always fun for kids to watch, there are now toothbrushes with built in timers. The brush will alert timer markers with a beep or a vibration for 2 minute duration, some even play a popular song.

Giving Kids Something to Look Forward To

This is the perfect way to create a morning and nighttime routine to get your child excited about developing healthy habits.  Getting your child involved in the decision making of choosing some cool and fun dental products makes them more apt to look forward to brushing and flossing daily.

Starting off good oral hygiene practice at a young age will propel your kids into the future for a lifetime of healthy pink gums and bright shining smiles!  A healthy smile is a smile you can be proud of!

Download Dental Word Search

References

http://www.ncohf.org/resources/tooth-decay-facts

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should

Dr. Terry Hunt

River Dental Arts

1690 Wright Ave

Rocky River, OH 44116

Phone: (440) 331-7380

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PERIODONTAL DISEASE OVERALL HEALTH

I am becoming more and more aware and concerned with the link between oral health and overall health.  Taking care of your oral health positively contributes to your overall health Featured imageand well-being.  Researchers have established links between gum disease and other health ailments.  While it is not perfectly clear whether there is a cause and effect relationship, we do know that there are links between gum disease and many other health conditions.  We know that gum disease can be prevented, treated and sometimes reversed, which indicates that patients may be able to influence their overall health by actively managing their oral health.

Prevention is the key.  Good oral home care routines combined with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent gum disease.  Brushing, flossing and rinsing at home helps reduce the build up of plaque.  By maintaining regular dental visits we can remove additional plaque and monitor gum disease warning signs.  We will discuss any evidence of gum disease with you so that you can also manage any changes in your overall health.  Here are some links that have been demonstrated between oral health and overall health.

  • Heart Disease & Stroke: People with gum disease are almost TWICE as likely to suffer coronary artery disease as those without gum disease.
  • Pulmonary Infection: Harmful bacteria from gum infections has been linked with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Osteoporosis: Women with osteoporosis may be at higher risk for gum disease and people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of underlying osteoporosis.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which in turn can make it more difficult to control blood sugar.
  • Oral Cancer: An association has been found between serious periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions and oral tumors.
  • Pregnancy: Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked with toxemia, pre-term delivery and babies with lower birth weights.

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  It really doesn’t matter what brand of toothbrush you use, as long as it has soft or medium strength bristles.  The best toothbrush to use is the one that you will use!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380