Everyone knows that baby teeth are difficult. First, it’s tough to keep their mouth clean when it’s constantly full of food. Second, because babies are always on the move, it’s nearly impossible to brush their teeth properly.
If that wasn’t a concern, teeth can sometimes pop out of the gums when babies are teething. In rare cases, teeth may be pulled out during teething. Other times, teeth can simply fall out if your baby is a long-time tooth-sitter. That’s the case for many moms and dads, but that’s not necessarily a reason to fear your child’s teeth. There’s no need to be alarmed. Teething and early dentistry can be a difficult time, but with the right routine, your baby’s teeth will be just fine.
Teeth are actually more than just teeth. They’re like the trees in our forests. If you don’t take care of them, they won’t live long. And that’s not how it works with baby teeth. In fact, the decay on baby teeth is the same that you would see on adult teeth. You just can’t see it.
By the time your baby is ready for a visit to the dentist or dentistry center, brushings should be a part of their routine. At that visit, a pediatric dentist will examine the baby’s teeth for signs of decay and provide an oral health evaluation. He or she may order x-rays if your little one has baby teeth at this time.
A finger brush is a rubber device designed to work on the gums and loosen the plaque. It is also a great tool for getting into your child’s mouth quickly. Brush your toddler’s gums gently at first with your fingers, then work up to a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, if he or she needs it. For a baby this is probably around the time he or she should be introduced to water-based toothpaste. If your baby can’t tolerate the texture or the taste of toothpaste, try a fluoride-free version.
From here, start putting in practice what you’ve been taught. Continue brushing after meals and before bed, but now incorporate flossing. Plaque builds up on toothbrushes and in our mouths over time. Flossing will help remove it from your little one’s teeth, allowing their teeth to be clean and healthy as they grow older.
Kids take longer to form a habit around toothbrushing than adults. Try to stick with the schedule that the dentist suggests.
Let Kids Pick Their Toothbrush
From here, let your child pick their toothbrush. Remember, most kids are not given this choice until they are much older. Give your child the opportunity to be involved in this decision. He or she can pick a character toothbrush, special-edition Disney or Star Wars toothbrush, or an educational option. Most kids will fall in love with the one they choose.
Use Egg Cartons
Cut a tooth from a white styrofoam egg carton. Give your child the tooth and ask them to choose snacks from a list of tooth-friendly and unhealthy options.
If they select healthy food, use a dry erase marker to color a circle on their tooth, but if they choose unhealthy food, use a permanent black marker. Give your child a toothbrush and ask them to brush away their food circles and explain that the unhealthy foods are hard to brush away and harm their teeth.
It’s important with tips for teaching children dental hygiene to have agency over their own health and well-being, which includes making their own choices about what they eat. They are also learning important communication skills, because they are able to communicate with us in a non-accusatory way. They also demonstrate self-regulation and decision-making skills, which will help them become healthy, responsible adults.
Of course, it’s not like kids are likely to need a crown dentist at this time, but an understanding and helpful dentist can help them learn to take care of their teeth now, when the stakes are low and the risk is low. It’s never too early to teach children good oral hygiene. A visit to the dentist will help them maintain healthy teeth and gums, learn healthy habits, and have more positive experiences that they can keep with them for a lifetime.
How to Encourage a Healthy Diet
Encouraging a healthy diet for your children means modeling it yourself. Start by thinking about what makes you feel good, whether it’s the delicious taste of ice cream or a decadent dessert with rich chocolate. Or what makes you feel strong and powerful when you hit the gym, or when you’re active and fit? Your health is your most important asset, so consider feeding your kids the same, nutritious foods that you want to eat.
More tips for teaching children dental hygiene include eating meals together as a family as often as possible, and discuss what’s going on with your own bodies. This will help your children to get a better sense of the world around them, and lead to healthy conversations about their own bodies. For example, ask them if they ever feel bloated, if they have some bulges, or if they’ve ever got belly fat. Encourage them to eat their meals, and explain how much they should be eating to stay healthy. Or ask them what foods make them feel tired, or if they’re hungry.
Medical and Health Environments
Medical environments with medical equipment tend to be very clean, clinical establishments – not usually associated with places for kids, or tips for teaching children dental hygiene. It’s no surprise that serious things have to happen in medical buildings, like cardiology, neonatology, and pediatrics – but they are also the places where life has to happen, and moms and dads have to take care of their little ones. But even when medical spaces are similar to those found in dental clinics, it can be a much better experience for your child. Teens who make frequent visits to the doctor have an easier time avoiding a host of bad habits, including sucking their thumbs, cuddling with stuffed animals and other bedtime distractions, and smoking, which is also linked to poor dental health.
Focusing on early oral health at the elementary school age makes your child more likely to go to the dentist in the first place. These are also tips for teaching children dental hygiene, and ways to make sure that kids get plenty of rest. Undetected oral health issues can lead to social and academic problems in the future, such as lack of sleep, poor academics, lack of nutrition, mouth and jaw pain, braces or surgery.
A healthy child, at the elementary school age, is also much less likely to develop asthma, whooping cough, allergies, eczema, or other issues that can affect the lungs.
Of course, the more you can associate good health habits with enjoyment and pleasure, the more your kids will choose them. Treat them to a movie, a trip, or some other special occasion when they start picking up these habits on their own.
How to Kick the Habit of Bad Snacking
All foods aren’t created equal when it comes to eating health, and the same goes for snacks. A healthful snack like carrots and hummus is a nutritious way to satisfy your hunger, but eating a whole bag of candy while you lounge in bed watching reruns of Dora the Explorer doesn’t necessarily make you feel better, and should not be included in tips for teaching children dental hygiene. Instead, try to use the snack-eating time to learn other healthy habits. Use tips for teaching children dental hygiene, like chewing your food well, since many people eat with their mouth open. Use it to experiment with flavor combinations, including sweet, savory, sour, and even bitter. Share your food with others so that you can enjoy it, and then help your children to share and be generous in their own snacking. Give your kids a set of snack knives, and ask them to practice cutting up vegetables and fruits. This builds healthy habits of preparation, as well as presentation.
The BPA Free Plastics
Some plastics are proven to be toxic to human health. They may leach out into food or pose other serious health risks. These harmful materials are used to make the products that we consume on a regular basis, like drinking glasses, plates, and toys. BPA (polycarbonate) is one such substance that has been shown to interfere with the hormones in the body, including estrogen and testosterone. The chemical has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system of both adults and children.
Regardless of your personal feelings about the effectiveness of the current research into BPA, you shouldn’t put it in your mouth. Although many plastics have been proven safe for most of the time since that they have been introduced, the current scientific consensus is that the period of time that scientists have identified them is still too short for studies on new materials to be published in the peer-reviewed literature. But the FDA has now issued a warning that these new plastics are linked to adverse health effects in humans. The good news is that you can find some great alternatives.
Plastics made with BPA-free polycarbonate are available to purchase. They are also safe to use in the microwave and dishwasher, which means that you can safely keep them for a long time. The major problem with these plastics is that they are not eco-friendly, and they do not decompose for years, so there is a chance that they are still harmful in some way.
Some plastics have been deemed safer than BPA in some studies, but many plastic-free plastics are not produced to meet the standards set out by safety evaluation committees for plastic products.
If you are shopping for plastic alternatives, be aware that you will have to spend a little more money, and that some products, like metal containers, are more expensive than plastics. BPA-free plastic is used in some food packaging, but the public is not often given the choice to opt out of using BPA-free materials. Plastic is now included in the USDA organic certification, so you may have to search the web to find a company that sells all plastics.
Other Plastic Alternatives
To make your own plastic-free version of plastic food storage containers, use ceramic jugs. These containers can be useful to store fruits, vegetables, meat, or grains. They will protect your food from splashes and spills, as well as protect the food from outside elements.
Metal food containers are another great alternative to plastic. You can find them in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can also use these containers to make reusable take-out containers that will hold the food that you have prepared.
Glass food containers can be used for storage as well as eating. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. This will require a little time and practice, but if you make some for gifts, you can always save the leftover glass for your own use, which is much better for the environment than plastic.
Plastic toys that are only used once, such as the popular Hello Kitty products, can be recycled in a number of ways. If you cannot get to a collection center, you can try to find a nearby shredding service that will recycle your plastic toy pieces into their paper pulp. While not necessarily tips for teaching children dental hygiene, these health habits go hand-in-hand with healthy living.
Ultimately, it can be difficult to place an emphasis on tips for teaching children dental hygiene, or aspects of health that seem to be a small details rather than an emergency. In fact, not one accident attorney or personal injury attorney is going to make a dime off of a kid who missed a flossing, and it’s not likely that any legal cases are going to go after a parent who didn’t instill tips for teaching children dental hygiene. However, these issues are worth consideration if your personal health and the health of your kids are important to you.
Nowadays, there’s a camera around every corner, and while image isn’t a very healthy priority, it does make a strong first impression. Health is somethings that lasts for a lifetime, and as you reach your peak years, you’ll likely be looking back at the great care you gave to your body to keep you healthy as well.
Schools shouldn’t have to be responsible for every aspect of your life – rather, many of these things are learned at home.