Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? To celebrate this month, I’ve partnered with the American Dental Association (ADA) to share some tips that can help all of us teach our kids to take care of their teeth. The ADA has shared some tips for us to cover every stage of a child’s tooth development.
Before exploring their resources, I didn’t know all of these, they have a lot of great information to share!
Did you know that taking care of teeth starts before teeth have even come in? Babies are born with teeth beneath their gums, so oral healthcare starts immediately. If you are able to breastfeed it will be exciting to know that breastfeeding may reduce some risks of tooth decay.
Keep in mind at bedtime, that putting a baby to bed with a bottle can be bad for their teeth. They call it baby bottle tooth decay. You can avoid this by simply giving the bottle before bedtime!
The ADA even has some tips to help relieve your baby’s teething pain. Be sure to check out all of the information they have about caring for an infant’s oral health, if you have a baby.
As your child grows, they’ll soon have a mouth full of baby teeth! These teeth have their own unique needs. At this stage of childhood it’s important to help your child start taking responsibility for their own oral health, baby teeth are important, just like adult teeth!
Kids may need lots of reminders to brush their teeth every day, but try to work towards developing a daily routine where they brush twice a day. This habit can help improve their overall oral health for their whole lives.
One common mistake kids make when brushing their teeth is not brushing for long enough. We keep a timer in the bathroom that the kids set to make sure they brush for long enough. We started doing this after I caught them brushing for about 10 seconds each. YIKES!!! This is a great example of why we all need to regularly check on our children’s tooth brushing habits and make sure they are caring for their teeth properly.
Caring for your child’s adult teeth
When your kids start to lose their baby teeth their adult ones will begin coming in. We made a big deal about this with our kids, letting them know that these are the teeth they will have for the whole lives, so they needed to be well cared for!
We have found that having open and honest communication with the kids about their oral health has helped them start to take responsibility for their own oral health more than ever before!
They have learned that what they eat can affect their oral health, and that they need to pay special attention at school since they can’t brush their teeth there. Healthy school lunches are a must for oral health!
A fun fact from the ADA – Did you know that cavities are contagious? Sharing forks or spoons can pass cavity-causing bacteria from one mouth to another – youch! Explaining things like this to kids can help them prevent cavities all day – instead of only thinking about it while they brush their teeth at night. It’s an all day effort to have healthy teeth!
Did you know that only certain brands of toothpaste and other dental care items are approved by the ADA? Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when shopping, or check out the kids shopping list they created here.
Be sure to check out all of the great ideas and resources that the ADA has to share with us, especially during this National Children’s Dental Health Month!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Dental Association.