Archive for November 18th, 2011
Growing up my family didn’t visit the dentist often. I would brush my teeth twice a day (my mom always made sure of that) and flossed, but we really didn’t do much else when it came to our oral health unless there was a problem. The Hispanic Dental Association, in partnership, with P&G recently conducted a study and according to the survey almost two-thirds of Hispanics rate their overall oral health care as “excellent” or “or good” yet two-thirds of those surveyed experienced at least one oral health issue in the past year. As a Latina, I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t find this surprising basing it on my own experience. I think the problem lies in information. I think the Latino community needs access to more information about good oral health care and most importantly, how to pass on healthy oral habits to our familias! This got me thinking, How have you introduced healthy oral habits in children?
This question got me thinking about how I approach healthy oral care habits in our home. I remind my kiddos in the morning and bedtime to brush their teeth and they know the importance of visiting the dentist. However, I really wanted to get some pointers from a dental professional and decided to call my sister-in-law, Katie, a dental hygienist, to give me her top three tips when it comes to developing oral habits in young children.
1. Let your kiddos do it themselves. Katie, suggested to allow your children to brush their teeth first. Then mom and dad can over and brush the hard to reach places or missed spots. You can make it fun by suggesting my turn, now your turn!
2. Visiting the dentist early. Children should have their first visit at around 2 or 3 year old. My sister in law also suggested early exposure to the dentist. Take the kiddos with you to your biannual dental visits. I did that with my kiddos and It’s been a piece of cake when their turn came around. They love feeling important and doing what mom an dad do. A visit to the dentist became something to look forward to because they get a fun toothbrush and a toy. I think it also helps that Aunt Katie is a dental hygienist.
3. Limiting sweets and brushing at least twice a day. This one is sometimes hard to do in our home. I think this one might be tough for many of us. No matter what time of day it seems the kiddos are always asking for some kind of sweet treat. I try to limit the amount and if I succumb to their pleading(I’m a pushover!) I make sure that they brush their teeth immediately after. We brush our teeth twice a day minimum but I would love to have them brush three times a day.
To learn more about the study and other tips head here.