Your kids always give you a reason to smile – and there’s nothing better than seeing them grin back at you. Your children’s dentist in Calimesa, Dr. Scott Parker feels the same way – he knows just how important those pearly whites are. He and the American Dental Association (ADA) spotlight kid’s oral hygiene this February since it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month. In this post, find out about about this nationwide initiative and learn the top 5 ways to take care of your son or daughter’s teeth – keep their smile healthy this month, and all year long.
What Is National Children’s Dental Health Month?
Starting out as a small campaign in the 1940s in Cleveland, OH, National Children’s Dental Health Month is a country-wide dental health promotion program. Each year, the ADA selects a topic that impacts kids and creates resources like stories, coloring book pages, and activity sheets to help make dental health fun and engaging for children.
What Are The Top 5 Ways to Give My Kids A Healthy Smile?
Dr. Parker recommends the following strategies to set your kids up for a lifetime of dental success:
- 2×2 – Your children should brush for two minutes, twice a day and they should floss just as often. Brush right alongside your kids to watch for proper technique, and play some fun music on your phone to make sure you brush long enough. Encourage them to spit out toothpaste, since getting too much fluoride can impact the appearance of their teeth.
- Eat Healthy – Every parent knows just how many sweets are aimed at their kids. This compounds the problem for kids, since they’re already prone to tooth decay and cavities. Limit sugar – in foods and drinks (like fruit juices) – and stick to water, high-protein snacks, leafy greens, and dairy products. Cheese can protect tooth enamel so enjoy this healthy treat.
- See Your Dentist – Since dental problems can arise as soon as teeth show up in the mouth, the ADA recommends scheduling your child’s first appointment no later than their first birthday. Kids should see Dr. Parker at least twice a year for exams and cleanings.
- Make It Fun – It’s important that kids get a good impression of the dentist when they’re young to encourage a lifelong habit of dental wellness. Watch cartoons and read children’s books about the dentist. Mom and Dad should talk positively about the dentist to get kids excited. Take a teddy bear or favorite toy to appointments, and give them a sticker or a small toy for being a good dental patient.
- Set A Good Example – You know that your kids look up to you, so if you drink soda all day long, skimp on flossing, and don’t visit the dentist yourself, your children will pick up on that message. Eat right, practice good oral hygiene, and if you smoke or use tobacco products, stop now – your kids are watching.
*BONUS TIP*: Dental Sealants – Since kids are developing hand-eye coordination, they can easily miss key areas of their teeth – especially the ones in the back – which increases their already high risk of getting cavities. Protect their molars by having Dr. Parker apply dental sealants. This safe, effective treatment gives an extra barrier of protection for their back teeth.
Now that you know what Children’s Dental Health Month is all about, schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Scott Parker and give your son or daughter a smile that will last their whole life long!