This month is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we can’t stress enough the importance of educating your children about their oral health routine at an early age.
Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in children, second only to the common cold. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 50 percent of children will have tooth decay before they reach the age of five. And more than 51 million school hours are lost every year due to dental conditions.
Tooth decay in children can also be expensive. The American Dental Hygienists Association found that for every dollar spent on preventative dental care, you could be saving between $8 and $50 in restorative care down the road.
Dental problems can be prevented by eating healthy, but it also has to do with the oral care routine your child has. The AAPD recommends that kids brush twice a day for 2 minutes and that they see their dentist twice a year for a checkup. They call this the 2-2-2 rule, and of course, it’s easier said than done.
So how do you instill a good oral health routine in your kids?
First, you can lead by example. “Do as I say, not as I do,” isn’t a good parenting technique for most things, oral care being one of them. So make sure you are brushing your teeth with your kids in the morning and at night.
Create and stick to a morning and bedtime routine, and make “BRUSH TEETH” an integral part of it. To make it fun, try making a checklist to hang out the wall for them to follow. If you don’t want to actually make one, there are hundreds you can find online.
Thirdly, make sure your child is present and attentive at the dentist twice a year. Their check-up is important not only to check on the health of their teeth but also because this is where they can learn about their oral health from their dentist.
Your child’s oral health routine is a big part of their overall health. Be conscious of their diet and brushing habits, and remember the 2-2-2 rule.