2711 Randolph Road Suite 205
Charlotte, NC 28207
If you were as shocked as I was after reading the latest article in the Charlotte Observer about the surge of toddler tooth decay across the country, continue reading…
With last month being touted National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’ve decided to give you, concerned public and parents, a well-rounded catchall for what you need to know about your childs oral hygiene.
Many of us can easily bring to mind a toothpaste commercial where a pretty brunette stands before her bathroom mirror and squeezes a long string of paste complete with a icecream-like swoop covering the entire length of her toothbrush. Now rewind, let’s edit that recollection. You don’t need an inch of toothpaste to achieve your pearliest whites. Think pea-size. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you’ve seen your child mouth foaming from that glob of toothpaste now working up a fierce lather... That is if the toothpaste made into their mouths instead of the sink. So, next time remember, less is more.
This seems like a no brainer, but many people neglect the good tongue scrub. A friend and father of one rather animated five year old once told me this is his and his son’s favorite part of their bedtime routine. Why, you may ask? Gagging gives them both the giggles. Especially with younger children, a little gag is normal when brushing their tongue. Knowing the limits takes practice but there are a couple of alternatives:
Visiting the dentist once every six months is the recommended schedule for maintaining proper dental health. That goes for everyone. Here, your child’s dentist will remove plaque buildup from hard to reach places, pass on relevant knowledge to you and your child, and make any recommendations specific to your child’s oral hygiene needs… Sound familiar? Take this opportunity to open up the dialogue with the dentist or oral hygienist. No question is a bad question.
You guessed it! You are what you eat, is going to be the very poignant point I’ll be making. Gummy, chewy, sweet and salty, these are descriptors for a majority of grab-and-go snacks out there. But when that’s all your child’s mouth sees between meal, bacteria is the only one benefitting. You know how these sweet treats stick to the wrapper, carpet, dog fur? They have the same relationship with teeth. Instead, opt for fruit and veggie snacks, which can be just as quick when kept on hand. Dairy snacks like cheese sticks and yogurt are also a smart alternative to juice and fruit flavored snacks. Go for the real thing. So, the next time you find yourself reaching for strawberry-flavored fruit snacks.. consider going for.. wait for it.. Strawberries.
So, what would I say is the best way to improve or shape your child’s dental habits? Re-evaluate your own. One of the most effective ways, if not the most effective way, to change your child’s behavior is to exhibit these desirable behaviors yourself. It’s easier for children to develop good habits when they have an example to look at every day. Walk the walk, these little learning moments can save you time and money.
Click below for article in The Charlotte Observer on March 12, 2012….
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