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Good oral health is important to everyone’s overall health and children’s oral health is no exception. Maintaining good oral health habits at an early age, along with regular dental visits, can help prepare a child for a lifetime of good oral health. Every year, February is designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month making it the perfect time to spread the word about how parents and caregivers can help maintain and improve children’s oral health.
Despite the fact that tooth decay is preventable, it remains the most common chronic disease of children and teens from age 6 to 19. Establishing an oral health routine early is important. We’re sharing tips on how to make learning about oral health fun for the whole family.
The next time you shop for dental supplies, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, let your child pick out a new toothpaste flavor, flosser, an electronic toothbrush or a toothbrush with their favorite character. They might be more excited about taking care of their teeth. Always pick soft bristled toothbrushes for young children.
Having a balanced diet is important for both oral and overall health. Have your child print out several different kinds of food and drinks. Challenge them to place the smile friendly foods and drinks on one side of a poster board and the not so smile friendly items on the other. This will help them make good choices when it comes to fueling their bodies.
Consider adding oral health themed books to your nighttime reading routine with younger children to help reinforce good oral health habits with your child as they care for their teeth when they wake up and before they fall asleep. A book personality may be more relatable to a child than a parent. For older kids, you could look for online resources that talk about oral cancer, the importance of mouthguards and braces.
Reward your teen or child for maintaining good oral health. Take them out to dinner at their favorite restaurant or allow them to have friends over for each month they practice good oral health habits.
Help reinforce good oral health habits by creating a decorative chart. Every time they complete a task, like brushing twice daily and flossing once, they can place a sticker on the chart or mark the chart with a star or smiley face. Once they’ve completed the chart, you can reward them with what you think will motivate your child to follow good oral health habits.
Remember a good oral health routine is essential in the prevention of tooth decay. Regular dental visits are also essential. When you are visiting the dentist, ask your dentist if dental sealants are an option for your child.
Need a dentist near home, work or your kids' school? With one of the largest networks in the country, we make it easy to find a dentist who fits your location and your schedule.
* All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the DenteMax, United Concordia and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans for both group and individual members are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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