ORIGINALLY POSTED ON AUGUST 2, 2009 It was on this day two years ago, that my youngest child went under the knife. Laurel, now two, had open heart surgery to correct a heart defect...
5 Tips for Keeping Kid’s Teeth Healthy
5 Tips for Keeping Kid's Teeth Healthy
Did you know that Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S.? That's right! In fact, dental decay is 5 times more common than asthma. However, approximately 4 in 10 parents say that getting their child to regularly brush their teeth is difficult.
According to data released in October, 3 of 4 or 75% of parents report that their child sometimes or frequently forgets to brush his or her teeth. The mouth is the gateway to a person’s overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease.
In the U.S., dental disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually. In addition, the CDC estimates nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of five already have cavities. Dental disease disproportionately affects children from low-income families and minority children, who have nearly double the number of cases of untreated dental decay as the general public.
Another startling fact is that more than one in four (28%) parents report that their child frequently forgets to brush their teeth. This happens in our house and it used to happen a lot more until we got teeth smart. Here are five tips for keeping your child's teeth healthy.
5 TIPS FOR KEEPING KID'S TEETH HEATHY
1. Use a timer. We have a fun, loud timer that our kids use every time they brush their teeth.
2. Let kids pick out their own toothbrushes and toothpaste. I had way less “buy-in” when I used to buy all of the dental hygiene stuff without asking my kids what they wanted. It was amazing how much happier they were when I took them shopping for their own dental items.
3. In addition to supervising their brushing, we also do a “smell check.” Yeah this sounds crazy but we have done this for years. After my youngest brushes, she comes to me for a smell check. While smelling, I also look at her teeth to what kind of a job she has done. Sometimes she has to brush again but the “smell check” really cuts down on that.
4. Take pictures and show them. This might sound extreme but I will take pictures of my kids teeth on my phone, make the photo large and show it to them. When the photo is larger, they can see food and places that they might have missed while brushing.
5. Grab the Toothsavers Mobile Game App. See below.
ABOUT THE AD COUNCIL AND SCHOLASTIC PARTNERSHIP
Scholastic and the Advertising Council have partnered to create lesson plans and activities that teach oral health through science, math, and poetry to establish strong oral health habits at home.
The goal of the campaign is to encourage parents and caregivers to get their children to brush for two minutes, twice a day to prevent oral disease, and that this can be accomplished in a fun and educational way.
On the site, you will find an oral health poster, oral health tips in English and Spanish, and an oral health booklist.
CHECK OUT THE TOOTHSAVERS MOBILE GAME APP
The Toothsavers Mobile Game App inspires kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day by enlisting them in rescuing friendly fairy tale characters from an evil, cavity-creating sorceress who cast a wicked teeth-rotting spell on the kingdom.
Featuring a fun and colorful design, Toothsavers includes three key features to help parents and their kids learn about the importance of oral health:
The game calls on kids to be heroes. In a timed, finger-swipe brushing game, they can save 13 characters* in a fairy tale kingdom from an evil, cavity-creating sorceress. The two-player version of the game allows for kids to “brush” the teeth of their friends and parents when the mobile device is held up to their mouths.
The app also offers a real-life toothbrushing companion for kids and parents to keep track of their brushing progress, as well as morning and nighttime reminders.
Cavities and dental infections can cause severe pain and can increase a child’s risk for dental issues and poor health throughout their lives. The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that you help your kids’ brush until they’re 8 because poor dental health can impact a child’s ability to learn, develop self-esteem and speak properly.