Make Kids’ Dental Health a Priority

kids brushing teeth

Children’s baby teeth lay the foundation for adult teeth, dental professionals report.

If children take care of their teeth, they are more likely to have healthy teeth and gums when they are older. But sometimes children get busy with playing, learning or reading and they forget to brush and floss their teeth and keep sugar snacks to a minimum.

Parents and caregivers should help children take care of their teeth. Here are four suggestions:

  1. Set a routine – It’s easier to remember to brush and floss when a schedule is established and followed. Use a chart to help children remember to brush after breakfast and before bedtime, and to floss at least once daily. Don’t forget to recognize their hard work at the end of the month with a reward. Download this chart to help your kids get started.
  2. Model good oral health – Children often learn by observing the habits of parents, caregivers or older siblings. Make an effort to show children when you are brushing and flossing. Make it fun by using cartoon character toothbrushes and toothpaste. Use a timer to make sure they brush for a full two minutes.
  3. Schedule regular dental visits – Explain the dentist’s role in keeping teeth and gums healthy. To help children know what happens during a dental visit, watch this video.
  4. Eat nutritious foods – Sweet snacks, sodas and desserts are appealing to many children, but they can contribute to tooth decay. Make sure children eat the right balance of vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Offer healthy choices for snacks, such as low-fat cheese and yogurt, veggies, almonds, fruits, water or low-sugar beverages. After eating a sugary treat, swish water over the gums and teeth, and spit it out to remove excess sugar particles.

Learn about tips to help children develop good oral health habits.

Mayo Clinic News Network
Dental exam for children



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