Getting your child to smile and laugh is a great feeling as a parent. A big toothy grin feels like a great reward for a funny joke, silly story, or happy moment. Developing early good dental health habits is important in keeping those smiles bright, and prepares your child for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Since 1981, the American Dental Association (ADA) has been celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month to help support families and communities across the country.
Here are some tips taken from the ADA on ways that parents can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and keeps the whole family smiling:
- If you’re going to eat sugary foods and drinks, have them with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
- Limit between-meal snacks. If kids craze a snack, off them health options. Consider these Snack Tips for Parents from ChooseMyPlate.gov.
- If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless. Chowing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
- Pay attention to what your child is drinking. Instead of soft drinks all day, choose water and low-fat milk options.
- Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. The ADA suggests two minutes twice a day. Brush together to model good habits!
- Schedule regular dental visits. If you don’t have dental insurance coverage, you can visit HealthCare.gov to find coverage options for you and your family.
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