We all want our kids to have pearly white teeth. Instilling good dental habits into your kids early and watching their sugar intake can help your kids to keep their teeth healthy long into adulthood.
Here are just a few tips to consider when looking after your kids’ teeth.
- Start brushing early – It’s good practice to start brushing your kids teeth early to make it a habit. Some parents start brushing as soon as the first teeth come through – this generally isn’t needed, however
once they start moving beyond milk and onto solid foods you should be starting a brushing routine as this is when they’ll start to get plaque. Your kids can start brushing their own teeth usually around 3 or 4, but you’ll usually have to supervise them until they’re 5 or 6 as they’re
unlikely to brush very well on their own.
- Use the right toothpaste – Infants shouldn’t be using fluoride toothpaste, you should start infants off on an infant-friendly toothpaste. In fact, your kids shouldn’t use regular toothpaste until they reach
7 years old. For infants you only need a pea-size drop of toothpaste. There are also infant toothbrushes available from companies such as Brush Baby that are smaller.
- Make brushing fun – Kids may view brushing their teeth as a chore – try to make brushing fun so that they’re more willing to do it each morning and night. As you’re getting your kid to brush their teeth
themselves, you could try brushing with them and even possibly doing it to music. There are now apps such as Brush DJ that play music for 2 minutes to encourage kids to brush for that length time. Also consider letting them choose their own toothbrush – many kids’
toothbrushes are creatively themed around Disney movies or made to look like cars and your child may have a preference.
- Cut back on juice – Juice is full of sugar that will rot your kids’ teeth. It’s worth holding off on juice as long as possible – once your kids develop a taste for it there’ll be no going back. If you kids are already hooked on juice, you could try substituting for a low sugar flavoured water such as Hint water that will be much better for your kids teeth whilst still giving them that fruity taste. Kids may resist water and milk once they start drinking juice, but it’s important to try to encourage them to keep having these healthy drinks.
- Be wary of other hidden sugary foods – There are other obvious foods and drinks that you should give to your kids in moderation
such as soda, sweets and cookies. However, there are other foods which can contain a lot of
sugar which many parents don’t know about. For example, kids’ lunch hams and cheeses
are often sweetened. Meanwhile, crisps are often full of sugar (crisps also often get stuck in
the molars making them particularly bad for our teeth).