Rather than cleaning out the basement or the garage this spring, why not make the spring cleaning season a time to spruce up the family's oral health care routine? Setting good dental habits now is especially important for your child. The earlier your child gets into the habit of taking good care of their teeth, the more likely they'll be to continue doing so in adulthood. Take a look at a few steps that you can take this spring to improve your children's oral health and get them excited about their dental hygiene routine.
Get New Toothbrushes
If it's been awhile since you bought new toothbrushes, there's a good chance that it's time to do so. Toothbrushes are only good for about three or four months before the bristles become frayed and they stop cleaning effectively. The change of seasons is a great time to change your and your child's toothbrush. It will ensure that the toothbrushes are being changed often enough, and it's easy to remember. If you don't already have a new toothbrush schedule in place, this spring is a good time to start one.
Instead of picking out your child's toothbrush yourself, though, this time take them along with you to help choose a new brush that they like. For smaller children, letting them choose a toothbrush in a favorite color or adorned with a favorite character can really help them get excited about their tooth cleaning routine. Older children may have a preference for softer or firmer bristles or may want to try out an electric toothbrush, and accommodating their preferences helps to ensure that they'll continue taking good care of their teeth.
Cut Down on Sugary Drinks
Most kids love sugary sodas and sweetened sports drinks, but their teeth don't enjoy them quite as much. And parents who believe that they're offering a healthy alternative by providing their children with pure fruit juice may be in for a surprise – even if the juice is free of added sugar, some fruit juices naturally contain more sugar than sodas. What's more, they're more acidic, which means they can cause more damage to your child's tooth enamel than soda can.
What can you do to protect your child's teeth while keeping them hydrated and healthy? You can start by cutting out sodas and sports drinks entirely – these are not only bad for your child's teeth; they also have little or no redeeming value as nutritious drinks. If you feel the need to keep fruit juice in the house for its nutrients, try diluting it with water. That way, your child will still get the benefits of the fruit without as much wear and tear on their teeth. Letting your child drink from a straw can also help, as that limits the liquids contact with their teeth. Try gradually offering more whole fruits and more diluted fruit juices – eventually, your child should be getting the benefits of fruit from eating the actual fruit, and drinking mostly water, perhaps with a splash of juice or a twist of orange or lime for flavor.
Protect Your Child's Teeth From Injury
Will your child be playing Little League this spring, or training for summer sports? Chances are that you've already invested in protective gear like helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads, but have you looked into ways to protect your child's teeth?
A mouthguard is a piece of protective equipment that is every bit as essential as a helmet. It can stop your teeth from hitting the inside of your child's lips, causing cuts. It can also help prevent an even more serious injury, like a broken or knocked out tooth.
While you're improving your child's dental health this spring, make sure that you take the time to schedule a visit with their dentist. Your child should be visiting the dentist twice a year, and a spring checkup will give you a chance to ask about other ways you can spruce up your child's pearly whites this spring. Check out sites like http://www.drheimann.com for more information.