School clothes, sports kit, bags, shoes and lunch boxes are all part of the back to school list for parents and getting all the basics is important for kids getting back to school. So much so that the British Dental Association (BDA) have stated that sometimes during this hectic period parents sometimes forget to get children to clean their teeth properly.
Everyone knows about the stress that a school run brings in the morning. Making sure everyone is up and ready to go, wading through the morning traffic and getting them to the school gates. It’s the hectic routine that maybe affecting the length of time children is brushing their teeth. There is enough evidence to suggest that children are all too keen to skip a good oral routine.
According to the BDA around 31 per cent of children start school with tooth decay while a third (33 per cent) of 12 year olds has visible dental decay.
The great news is that dental decay is completely preventable and taking the time to educate children about the importance of dental hygiene will assist greatly. Following some routine steps will help to move forward in educating your children:
» Teaching children good habits from an early age will help them throughout their childhood onto adult life. By engraining the importance of dental care could see them save hundreds, or thousands, on dental bills.
» Allow your child to pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Involving them in the experience will make them more interested. Make sure the brush soft bristled and change every three months.
» Children are picky. Especially when it comes to food and tastes. Toothpaste is no different so allow your child to find one they like and stick to it; they won’t be as likely to cause such a fuss when brushing in the future.
» Choose toothpaste with fluoride and it’s probably a good idea to supervise them to make sure the job is being done properly. Allow them to do it on their own once they can be trusted to do it on their own
» Packing a nutritious, tasty low sugar lunch will help children look after their teeth. Foods such as breadsticks, fruit and vegetables as well as cheese will neutralise acids in the mouth
» Lastly, after eating advise children to drink water as this helps with plaque build up and with teenagers, advise them to chew gum as this will help keep plaque acid at bay
All the points listed above will help teach your children and get them into a habit which should stick. Obviously on top of these points regular trips to the dentists are a must, they can spot problems before they become too serious and also in young children will familiarise themselves with the dentist.
Jenny Jones writes on many topics including dental cover and has also contributed to several publications including Followhealth and bmi4sme.