This is a sponsored post in cooperation with the American Dental Association. All opinions remain my own.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about dental and oral health for kids. For my family, and me, taking care of our teeth is just as important as any other part of our body.
Are your kids like mine – always asking why? Why do we have to brush our teeth twice a day? Why is flossing important? After all these questions I decided to make a printable with the answers to their questions that also doubles as an incentive chart.
Download the printable here (link) or at the bottom of this post!
Surprising Facts About Oral Health
Baby Teeth Are Important
Baby teeth are super important – just because a child eventually loses them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of them. According to the American Dental Association, “When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.”
Breastfeeding & Cavities
Breastfeeding decreases the likelihood “baby bottle tooth decay.” This is because babies put to bed with bottles of formula, milk or juice have prolonged exposure to sugary liquids.
That being said, breastfed babies can still get cavities. Breast milk has sugar in it too. I found this out first hand when my first baby was breastfed throughout the night and had terrible decay in her front two teeth.
Tips For Parents
Now that you know how important it is to keep your baby’s teeth healthy, I’m going to share some easy tips for you. I hope these help!
Don’t put off taking care of your child’s teeth until the teeth are all in. The longer you wait to start healthy habits, the more time you’ll give your child’s teeth to decay. Plus, if you start young, it will be a normal part of your routine and your child will grow up with a healthy habit.
Don’t Miss A Single Dentist Visit
After you find a dentist that your child is comfortable going to, take them to every single scheduled cleaning. Regular cleanings will help your child’s teeth be cleaner and you could find problems sooner. The American Dental Association recommends bringing your baby to the dentist after that first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday.
Model Healthy Habits For Your Kids
Kids do what they see. Brush your teeth at the same time as your kids. Make it a game – have fun with it! When they see you doing it, they will be more likely to have healthier dental habits too.
Motivate With Incentives
Rewards charts work for so many things! I love using my “BUT WHY” printable with my kids. When they understand why they need to brush and floss, they are more motivated to actually do it.
Keep in mind, while chocolates and sugary treats are motivating, it’s counter-intuitive to use them as rewards. Use things like money, games, or something else that isn’t edible as a reward.
Free Tooth Brushing Printable Game
Why To Care For Your Teeth
Here are a few reasons to take care of your teeth. They are on the printable too. Share them with your kids! For more resources, check out MouthHealthy.org by the ADA.
Why Should I Floss?
Flossing removes food and plaque stuck between your teeth. If you leave the food and plaque there, it increases the chance of cavities and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the leftover food and sugar between your teeth. When they eat that stuff, they release acid that literally eats away at your teeth.
Why Do I Need To Brush My Teeth Twice A Day?
The easy answer is – brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities, makes your teeth feel clean, and helps your breath smell fresh!
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day helps remove leftover food and the sticky plaque that we already talked about above. Fluoride toothpaste helps rebuild tooth enamel that is weak and can even reverse early signs of cavities. Look for toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If it has the Seal, it has fluoride.
One cause of bad breath is bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria eat the leftover food in your mouth, leaving a bad smelling waste behind. They will have less to “eat” at night if you brush all the food you ate all day off before you go to sleep.
After breakfast, brush your teeth again to start the day with a fresh mouth.
There you go! Happy brushing! Share this post with your friends and I hope the printable helps! This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Dental Association.