Your baby is no longer teething (phew!), but now, you're starting to employ the Tooth Fairy on a regular basis—and she ain't cheap! Sure, your kid says he's brushing his teeth, but how do you make sure he's putting his mouth where his money is? By making dental health a family affair. Here are four ways to get your whole clan on the same toothy page.
Create a tooth-brushing routine together.
Just because your kid is old enough to put on her pajamas and can read Good Night Moon all by herself, thankyouverymuch, doesn't mean she should be little Miss Independent in the bathroom. Make tooth brushing a do-together activity. That way, she can mirror all your smooth brushing moves, and you're making sure that no corners are being cut!
Choose the right tooth tools.
Keep your bathroom stocked with fresh gear. Once your kid has graduated past the preschool years, you can safely buy one tube of toothpaste for the whole family. So what do you look for? Try a toothpaste the whole family can benefit from like Aquafresh Iso-Active
which removes three times more bacteria and "supercharges" from gel to foam, getting in between teeth and hard to reach places. When picking a toothbrush, dentists recommend a brush that has soft to medium bristles, has a flat head and handle, and easily fits into your mouth. And be sure to replace those toothbrushes often! Mom and Dad should change toothbrushes four times a year, and your children's toothbrushes even more frequently, as theirs tend to get a tad bit dirtier (Remember when you caught your kid trying to brush the dog's teeth? Nice!) And don't forget to floss for your and your kid's good dental health! Try to find a flavored dental floss that your kid can actually get into.
Establish healthy eating habits.
Sugar is a surefire tooth killer: Candy, sweets, sugary drinks, even fruit juice can do a mouthful of damage in a short amount of time. Nothing fights tooth decay like eating the right foods. Teeth are actually denser than the rest of the bones in your body. So to keep your teeth strong, maintain a family diet that's rich in calcium with foods like lowfat yogurt and cheese sticks, and yes, all those green, leafy veggies! And remember to keep sweet treats and desserts to a minimum.
Find a great family dentist.
The best way to make sure your kid doesn't dread the dentist? Pick a great pediatric dentist
who can treat the whole family. That way, you can make your appointments together. (Again with the togetherness!) The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says to avoid using alarming words like pain, hurt, drill, shots, etc., when discussing the dentist. You want to make visits to the dentist a positive experience, if not outright fun. (Maybe remind your kid that dentists like to give their young patients balloons, toys and other goodies!)
The bottom line? No parent should have to stress out about their family's dental care. By establishing good oral health early and making regular trips to the dentist, you can avoid any future toothaches and improve kids' dental health. And that's something the whole family can smile about!report abuse