~Thank you to Mouth Watchers® for providing product to the Making Time family and to Dr. Ronald Plotka for these amazing tips.~
With it being back to school season and all, it’s a good time to think and talk about routines. One thing that should be in everyone’s daily routine is oral hygiene. As adults, we know the importance of oral hygiene, but getting our kids on board can be a little difficult to say the least.
Dr. Ronald Plotka, the founder of Mouth Watchers®, has a few tips for us parents on how to teach our children that good oral hygiene is essential to their health and well-being.
1. Stay away from sugar.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit this one is hard. While sugar is an awesome treat for the taste buds, it’s definitely not a treat for teeth. So keep candies, cakes, ice cream, and pastries limited to special occasions.
2. Skip soda.
For some this may be hard, but for my family it’s actually not. My kids are ages 2 and 5, and to this day neither one of them has had soda. On the other hand, I do enjoy a nice fizzy soda every now and then, but right now my kids recognize it as mommy’s drink and know they can’t sip from my cup. If your kids want something with a little flavor, try offering them flavored water or juices that are low in sugar.
3. Fill up on fluoride.
Fluoride is good for little pearly whites. In fact, fluoride toothpastes reduce cavities in kids from 15% to 30%. Even the fluoride in public water supply reduces cavity rates by up to 40%. Good thing we drink the filtered water from our fridge!
4. Set up a schedule.
Oral hygiene should be part of any good routine. Try making it a family affair and have everyone brush their teeth at the same time. I’m not saying get the whole family in the bathroom at once because hey, that just ain’t happening, especially in this house. But while you’re brushing your teeth, have your kiddo practice brushing his. All it takes is a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on his Mouth Watchers® Youth Manual Toothbrush.
My son is so used to me brushing his teeth that he doesn’t even want to try it himself, and that is not going to fly anymore. He needs to learn how to properly clean his own teeth and take control of his own oral hygiene.
5. Make it fun to floss.
Let’s take a poll. How many of you actually floss on a daily basis? Or even floss at all? I’ll admit that I am definitely slacking in the floss department. Make flossing fun by creating a fun flossing activities or a reward chart.
One activity I saw not too long ago, that peaked my interest, was using a Mega Block and putting some peanut butter between the pegs. Then give your child a string of yarn to floss the peanut butter out from between the pegs. It’s just like flossing teeth, but on a bigger and obviously more fun scale! If you want to make it more challenging, try using a LEGO and letting them use actual floss.
6. Say goodbye to pacifiers.
Now, I’m not one to judge the way other parents do their parenting. We’re all different and I respect that, but I will say that when I see kids who have to be at least three years old still with a pacifier in their mouth, I start to question things. The presence of a pacifier can harm the development and growth of the mouth and teeth. Prolonged use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and create problems with tooth alignment.
So get rid of that pacifier as soon as possible! Luckily, my son was done with his by about 15 months and my daughter never even took to a pacifier, so we never had a problem there.
Start teaching good oral care at an early age. Encourage your kids by practicing healthy hygiene habits at home and with help from Mouth Watchers®! With the antimicrobial and flossing bristles that make up Mouth Watchers® toothbrushes, the whole family will feel like they just visited the dentist.
How are you teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits?