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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

05-02-2020

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! It aims to work with children, caregivers, teachers and other professionals to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health, by educating and inspiring young people to enjoy cleaning their teeth and to help make it become a part of their daily routine.

Tooth decay is most common among children and therefore it is very important to promote good oral hygiene. This campaign is the perfect opportunity to fine tune your efforts to ensure your child maintains proper oral hygiene.

Beginning an oral health routine with your child at an early age is important for the life of his/her smile. From before the time your baby’s first teeth appear through the development of adult teeth, good habits are the foundation for the future of your child’s oral health.

Dentists recommend an initial visit before the child’s first birthday to make sure teeth and gums are cared for and cleaned properly.

For your child, you are the role model and a great way to help your kids establish great tooth care habits is to practice those habits yourself.

While your children are still learning, consider brushing your teeth at the same time they do. Your presence will be comforting for them and you can also offer advice on easier techniques, and even time them to ensure they’re brushing for long enough.

Brush up on healthy habits during National Children’s Dental Health Month with these tips:

  • It is recommended that kids brush their teeth for two minutes, two times a day, an hourglass timer is helpful and fun to use.
  • Maintain a regular routine: brush at the same time each day, e.g., before school and before bedtime.
  • Once your child understands not to swallow toothpaste, use a pea-sized amount of a kid’s fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities.
  • Don’t forget to floss! Kid-friendly tools like Kids Flossers work well. Use floss holders or help your child floss until he/she gains the dexterity to do it on their own.
  • Visit the dentist every six months for regular cleaning and check-up.
  • Give your child healthy snacks instead of sugar-laden sweets when possible and be mindful to ensure your kids brush well on days sweets are enjoyed.
  • Make brushing fun! Add music or purchase a musical toothbrush for your child and encourage them to pick out their toothbrush and flavored toothpaste.

Tips to help brushing-averse children:

  • One way to get your child interested in tooth brushing is to purchase them a special toothbrush. Explore toothpaste options as well until your child finds one he or she likes (be sure to discuss this with your child’s dentist as well.)
  • Sometimes using warm water rather than cold helps, or have your child dip their toothbrush in hot water prior to brushing.
  • Play a Song or Video: If brushing or flossing is especially tough for your kids, consider distracting them with their favorite song or video. This will help distract them from the aspects of brushing or flossing that they don’t enjoy. It can also serve as a timer to help ensure they’re brushing for two minutes.