By: Jeffery Williams, Guest Blogger from Oradyne
Almost 20% of kids have tooth decay before they can even spell the words “tooth decay”. That’s right, one fifth of children between the ages of four and five already have issues with their teeth. That certainly goes to show that it’s not an easy thing to do – getting your kids to take care of their teeth can actually be pretty hard.
The first step in solving problems though is to identify them in the first place. Below are three common areas where kids struggle with oral health.
Not Brushing Long Enough
Simply put, kids don’t brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. To be honest, neither do adults. In fact studies show even those who think they’re brushing for that long probably aren’t. There are three easy ways to fix this though:
- Get a toothbrush with a timer. That leaves no room for error – just have your child keep brushing until the darned thing vibrates.
- If that doesn’t work, simply get a stopwatch for them to use (or use an app on your phone).
- Finally, in case they’re getting bored brushing their teeth (two minutes is a long time after all) play a favorite song or watch a video like Choosy Kids Brush My Smile until time is up.
Only about half of adults in the US regularly floss, and those numbers are even worse for children. It’s not without reason though – finding four or five minutes to thoroughly floss your teeth amid the morning chaos is a tall order.
The easiest solution to this is to leverage technology to cut that flossing time out. Water flossers can speed up the process of flossing to only 60 seconds. Even better, there are several models out there that focus specifically on getting kids excited to use them. It’s amazing how far some bright colors and a few stickers can go!
If a water flosser is out of your budget, try getting your kids to dedicate one or two minutes of flossing instead of the full five. Even a shorter time can make a big difference. Teach your children how to floss their teeth with this fun playdough and Mega blocks method.
Back in my playground days, chewing gum was worth its weight in gold. Kids (and adults alike) can nearly get addicted to it. Unfortunately, most chewing gum is awful for your teeth.
The general rule of thumb is that every snack, drink or meal (including a stick of gum) can cause an acid attack on your teeth for up to twenty minutes. Several pieces of gum a day can literally ruin your kids’ teeth. If you can’t get your children to kick the habit, get them to try a sugar free or xylitol option.
Keeping up your kid’s oral health can be pretty challenging. Keeping the suggestions mentioned here can ultimately make a big difference in your child’s oral health. What do you do to support healthy dental habits in children?