Dental Health Care and Healthy Lifestyle for Kids
Dental care is not just for adults, it is extremely important for kids as well. Teaching a child good habits for oral health early on is vital for them not just as a child, but throughout life.
Mint Dental has designed this infographic with the goal of teaching children, in a fun and creative way, about teeth and how to keep them clean.
Statistics for Children’s Dental Health
The first thing we want to touch on are some truly alarming statistics surrounding children. Unfortunately, tooth decay is the single most common chronic infection in kids in the United States, even though it is almost completely preventable.
It also can drastically affect a child’s attendance at school. The 42% of kids from age 2-11 that suffer from tooth decay are almost three times more likely to miss school. This adds up to 51 million hours of lost school time each year.
Signs of Bad Dental Health
Along with following a normal brushing, flossing, and dental check up routine there are six signs that you child might be developing some oral health issues. Some are easy to spot; some require the trained eye of a dentist.
If you child complains about any pain while consuming hot, cold or acidic foods or beverages you should visit your dentist, this often is an early warning sign.
Another early warning sign is bad breath. This could just be due to a skipped brushing or could be a chronic condition due to built up food particles and bacterial growth.
Tender, puffy gums that bleed easily can either be a sign of periodontists or gingivitis, both serious dental that can lead to bone and tooth decay. These conditions can generally be reversed if you consult your dental professional early enough.
This film builds up on our teeth as a combination of bacteria and sugars and is the number one cause of cavities and gum disease.
Damaged areas on your teeth develop into small holes that will gradually get worse if not taken care of early. This can lead to serious pain if left unchecked.
Foods for Kids to Avoid or Limit
While a good routine that involves brushing, flossing and cleanings will go a long way to ensuring dental health, you can also save yourself a lot of pain by avoiding certain foods.
The biggest culprit is sugar and foods that contain a high quantity of this substance. These include hard candies, chocolate, cupcakes, cakes and most bakery items like pastries or donuts. Most people are not surprised by this list, but they often forget about the sugar hiding in their drinks.
Soda is the #1 offender when it comes to sugary drinks, but things like coffee creamers, iced tea, and even juices are often packed with extra sugar to improve their taste.
Dental Habits to Teach Children
Just like many things, instilling the importance and proper dental habits early in a person’s life can make these things easy to stick with for years to come. Here are five habits, some obvious and some not so, that will help your children have a healthy smile throughout life!
Brush and Floss twice a day
Talk about obvious. If we had a nickel for every time, we’ve been told this we’d all probably be rich, rich people at this point. Yet, it is often advice that people ignore or choose to skip over. Brushing before bed tends to be an easy habit to maintain, but the 2nd time slot is not so common.
Set up a rule with your children that they don’t leave for school until they brush their teeth. This will often leave them with hours of clean teeth before lunch break at school.
Eat A Well-Rounded Diet
Sugary treats that kids are so fond of help the bacteria in your mouth grow and multiply, and acidic foods wear down the enamel in your teeth. The combination of these two, especially in large quantities, can damage teeth before kids are able to learn good habits. Teach them to eat a diet rich in protein, vegetables, and fruit.
Ice is the most common culprit here, but there are plenty of hard foods that can loosen or even break teeth if done consistently. Teach your child early not to bite down on substances like this as early as possible.
Regular Dental Visits
Putting a positive, fun spin on going to the dentist can teach a child that it isn’t something to be feared at all. By taking this one simple step you can set your child up for great oral health habits and a life without painful teeth issues that plague so many.
Our Brushing Chart
To help teach your kids positive brushing habits we’ve included a simple chart that you can use with your children.
This chart can be hung in the bathroom and is as simple as putting a check mark, sticker, or “x” each time you kid remembers to brush their teeth. Morning after breakfast and at night before bed are prefect times to do this!
Questions About Dental Healthcare for Kids?
We would love to become your dental health provider if you are in the Anchorage, Alaska area. We do our best everyday to make Mint Dental the perfect place for both you and your children’s dental needs. To find out more call us at 907-313-1866 or schedule an appointment!
Mon: 8:00a – 5:00p
Tues: 8:00a – 6:00p
Wed: 8:00a – 6:00p
Thurs: 8:00a – 6:00p
Fri: 8:00a – 5:00p
Sat: 8:00a – 5:00p