|Guest Blogger:||By Nicole Fonovich|
Happy National Children’s Dental Month!
Tips for helping your children practice good dental hygiene
By Nicole Fonovich
In order to highlight the growing need for dental hygiene awareness, the American Dental Association (ADA) designates the month of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. These days, pediatric dentists are requesting to see children at younger and younger ages. With the presence of too many processed foods and excessive sugar in the standard American diet, children need more dental assistance. What can we do to help this problem?
Understand the fear
There is a culture of fear around the dentist office. Many adults fear the dentist. Why is that? Why have we let an easy thing like keeping your teeth clean and healthy become an activity that people hate, or worse, an activity they are deathly afraid of? We all have family members that fear the dentist, and while irrational, most people do go to the dentist at least once a year. But what happens when an adult’s irrational fears are passed on to children? As a parent, it is important to model the right behavior, so you should never mention having a fear of the dentist in front of your children. At worst, there are some great options to help children with any nagging doubts they might have about the dentist, including books like “Luca Lashes and his First Trip to the Dentist.”
Teach proper etiquette
Showing your children how to brush and floss is a vitally important thing for parents to do. As with the dentist, parents need to model this behavior effectively, so brushing your own teeth along with your children can be a great way to demonstrate what brushing and flossing look like! Timing, technique, and a fearless attitude are vitally important to the process. There are some great mobile apps that help with some cute tricks and cues to make the process more smoothly, including “Luca Lashes Learns to Brush his Teeth.”
Start the process early
Dental visits need to start as soon as the first tooth appears in a baby. That is a great tip that most parents are not aware of. In fact, you can begin the brushing the process before that, using thumb brushes to brush your children’s gums before they have teeth. These and other great tips for early dental care can be found at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists website.
There is nothing that a parent loves more than a smile on the face of their child. Why not do everything you can to make sure that those smiles are as healthy and bright as they can be? Remember, good oral health is a great foundation for good overall health!
About the Author: Nicole Fonovich is the president of Luca Lashes, LLC and co-author of this interactive eBook and app series. She has a Masters of Education in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University.