One of the biggest responsibilities that we have as parents is to teach our kids the right way to do things. We teach them how to dress themselves, how to treat people they meet, and how to work ethically and with integrity. As parents, we are also responsible for teaching our kids good personal hygiene. This includes washing themselves, washing their hands, and also taking care of their teeth. The dental hygiene part is really important. After your kids become adults, they will still take a shower each day. They will wash their hands each day. But with their teeth, they may brush each day, but that is only part of the puzzle when it comes to having a great smile.
Set The Example For Good Dental Hygiene Habits
One way to help your children build the habits they need to keep their smiles great is to lead by example. Here are five ways to be the example your kids need when it comes to dental hygiene.
1. Brush and Floss Every Day – Your kids need to see you taking care of your teeth each day. This is not just brushing but flossing as well. Flossing is a very important part of the healthy dental picture. Flossing is extremely important to the health of your gums as far as helping you avoid gum disease. Gum disease is the number one reason adults lose their teeth, and more than 50 percent of adults have some form of gum disease. This says that not enough people are flossing enough or properly. Take the time and invest in your kids by showing them how to brush their teeth and floss properly. This will pay dividends now in the form of some quality time together, at upcoming dental appointments by saving money on treatments, and in the future when they are adults with healthy smiles.
2. Cut out the Sweets – Your kids are going to grow up eating the foods you give them, but when they are adults, they are going to eat the foods that they see you eat. We know all kids are different and they are their own people, but ask yourself how much of what you eat you saw your parents eat. Often, this includes unhealthy foods. For the sake of your smile and the smiles your children will grow up with, cut out the sweets as much as you can. There is so much in candy that will hurt your teeth, the risk isn’t worth it. Teach your kids healthy snacking habits now. Want something sweet? Grab an apple, grab a sugar-free mint or piece of gum, grab something that either has natural sugar or no sugar, and your smile will be better for it.
3. Go to the Dentist – Your healthy smile is dependent on regular trips to the dentist. Your dental exams and cleanings from Dr. Kapers are needed to make sure that your teeth are getting cleaned in the areas you can’t reach, and that any issues that are creeping up get addressed quickly. Your kids need to see you taking the time to go the dentist even as a busy adult. This will help reinforce that these regular appointments need to be a priority. Don’t let your smile or your kids’ smiles fail because of missing dental appointments.
4. Grab an Apple – Apples are a great way to both eat something that is sweet and great for your teeth. They are wonderful for helping your teeth stay clean in between brushings. They are a healthy snack that can help you and your kids get and keep great smiles. Snack healthy and your family’s teeth will benefit.
5. Become a No-Tobacco Home – Whether it is smoking, using chewing tobacco, or even these new vaping machines, it is important to cut this habit out of your household. Your kids are watching you and what you do. If they see you using tobacco, they will be more likely to use tobacco, and that is bad news for their smiles. Smoking (aside from the cancer risk) can badly damage your smile. Your teeth will get stained and look brown. You will also have an increased risk of gum disease. Smokeless tobacco is just as bad. Not only are you opening yourself up to staining, but gum recession from this habit can cause your teeth to move, and you may even lose them. There is absolutely no downside to quitting tobacco use. It is a win for you and every member of your family.
Get a whole family full of healthy smiles and healthy dental habits today. Contact our St. John office at 219-322-9920 or our Valparaiso office at 219-462-1970 today.
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.