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Teaching Children the Basics of Good Dental Health
Good dental health and hygiene habits should be nurtured in children right from the earliest of ages. Studies show that up to 90 percent of systemic diseases have oral manifestations, confirming the link between oral health and overall general health and well-being. Teaching children the basics of good dental health and hygiene is therefore imperative for providing them with the best care for their teeth and gums and ultimately for their overall health.
Explain the Benefits of Good Dental Health and Hygiene
Children need to understand why good dental health and hygiene habits are important. Explaining the link between good oral hygiene and overall health can be best understood by starting with the most basic benefits that good dental hygiene offers. These benefits include:
- Preventing cavities: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and visit your dentist regularly to help keep a healthy smile;
- Alleviating bad breath: Following good dental hygiene practices helps to remove food particles and bacteria that may cause bad breath;
- Reducing your risk of gum disease: Plaque that accumulates on teeth can cause irritation and bleeding of the gums. Good oral hygiene helps prevent periodontal disease;
- Improving overall health: Poor oral health has been linked to other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory infections.
Encourage Good Dental Habits
Once children understand the importance of good dental health and hygiene, it’s important to instill these habits. Here are some tips for encouraging children to practice good dental hygiene:
- Encourage brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day;
- Help children select age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste;
- Show children how to properly brush and floss;
- Encourage children to drink water after meals to remove food particles that may be stuck in teeth;
- Remind children to avoid sugary and acidic drinks and snacks;
- Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings with a dentist;
- Make oral care fun. Create a chart to track their current dental hygiene habits.
Setting an Example
Children learn by example and as parents, it is important to practice good oral hygiene along with your children in order to set a good example. Poor dental health can have long-term health implications. Ensure that your children have healthy teeth and gums by teaching them the basics of good dental health and hygiene and encouraging a lifelong habit of brushing and flossing daily.
This is the best way to ensure that your children have a healthy and happy smile for years to come! When applied correctly, these strategies will help reduce the risk of oral health-related diseases and give children the tools they need to make informed decisions about their dental health and hygiene.