February Is National Children’s Dental Health Month, Quantico Residents! Here’s How to Help Your Kids Brush Up On Their Oral Hygiene!
February 7, 2015
Baseball practice. Video games. Homework. Playdates. If you asked your child to list his daily priorities, chances are that toothbrushing would be pretty low on his list! That's exactly why the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month every February. This month-long campaign intends to spread awareness about the importance of oral health and hygiene, and it's also a good opportunity for caregivers to practice proper dental care with their little ones.
If you could use a dental care brush-up yourself, here are a few pointers from the ADA that you can share with your kids:
1) Start early.
Kids under 3 years old should have their teeth brushed with a rice grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, while children 3 to 6 can practice brushing their own teeth using pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Everyone — babies, children, teens, and adults — should brush twice daily. You can begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch together.
2) Eat right.
Be sure to maintain a balanced diet of whole grains, low-fat proteins, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Avoid sugary, starchy, and sticky foods such as soda, candy, and dried fruit, as all of the above can cause cavities. Also, note that overexposure to alcohol, citrus fruit, red wine, and coffee can be harmful to your smile.
3) Brush gently.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush, and place it at the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Clean all surfaces of the teeth using short, gentle strokes, and don't forget to brush your tongue! Brush for two minutes, morning and night. (Check out this guide for complete instructions.)
4) Don't forget to floss.
Use an 18-inch-long strand of floss, guiding it gently between the teeth. Once you reach the gum line, form a C shape with the floss, wrapping it around the tooth and moving it up and down gently. (More info here.)
And keep in mind, Quantico residents: The better you and your brood care for your teeth, the less time (and money!) you have to spend at the dentist!
For more information, click the links below!
National Children's Dental Health Month [American Dental Association]
National Children's Dental Health Month [National Education Association]
MouthHealthy [American Dental Association]