New Year’s Resolutions that will Make Your Child – and Their Dentist – Smile
The New Year is a time to reset and start fresh, and many people proclaim their resolutions at 12:01 am, on January 1. Resolutions are a fun tradition that can be rewarding for the whole family. This year, we suggest getting your children involved by giving them some mouth-healthy resolutions that will improve their oral health, and are easy to accomplish!
Eat Less Sugar
The average American consumes 82 grams of sugar every day, yet the recommended daily serving for men is 38 grams, and 25 grams for women, and children should consume under 25 grams per day, according to the American Heart Association. Sugar is unhealthy on just about every level, but it can also significantly damage teeth. Bad bacteria in the mouth get energy from sugar, and produces acid as a byproduct. That acid erodes enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. A good way to cut down on sugar is by drinking more water, and less sodas and fruit drinks, both of which are notoriously high in sugar content. If you chew gum, make sure that it is sweetened with Xylitol – a sugar substitute which can actually help clean teeth as you chew!
Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that children see their dentist twice every year for dental checkups. Regular checkups help your child stay cavity-free, and gives their dentist a chance to evaluate the state of their mouth for any potential issues. It also allows your dentist to perform a deep clean that fights plaque buildup, and keeps your child up-to-date on the best oral care techniques. Additionally, it helps their dentist monitor any potential orthodontic problems that would require early treatment.
Practice Proper Oral Care Daily
Tooth decay is the most chronic disease that children face, and it is largely preventable. The best way to keep your kids cavity-free is by having them practice a healthy oral care routine every day. The AAPD advises children to brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time, and to floss once per day. By doing so, your children will keep their mouths clean and help them prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Use a Mouthguard
Did you know that your child is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth when they aren’t wearing a mouth guard, and that dental injuries account for nearly 20% of all sports injuries? If your child plays sports, then get them a mouth guard. You can help protect their teeth, and avoid an emergency trip to the dentist!
We hope that your family has a happy and healthy holiday season. Since a lot of children are on winter break between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s a great time to schedule a dental checkup for your children.