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Ways to Get Your Kids to Make Their Teeth a Priority

February is National Children's Dental Health Month!

In honor of this, I would like to focus this blog entry on children's dental education. Or, more specifically, what you can do to help educate your kids.

The American Dental Association (ADA) establised this month-long national observance in order to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others.

Here are some tips on establishing good dental practices for your children:

1. Start off at a young age. Many do not realize even babies are at risk for tooth decay. The risk of tooth decay begins as soon as a child gets their first tooth. Do not let young children go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup that allows them to continually sip. (There are sippy or training cups that have a valve that stops the flow, which does not allow for sipping or spilling.)

Also, you can get children used to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouths by softly brushing what few teeth they have. (Make sure that the toothbrush is an appropriate size and has soft bristles.) This not only helps them feel more comfortable when brushing their teeth later but also helps them with future appointments with the dentist.

2. Stick to a schedule. This will help you and your kids. They need to brush their teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day and floss 2 times a day. Get on a schedule for the morning and nighttime routines. For example, the kids get up, dressed, eat breakfast, and brush their teeth before heading off for school. Or, the kids put on their pajamas and brush their teeth before going to bed. If it takes 20 days for a habit to form, then be sure to really stick to this regiment for those first couple weeks.​