Keep your child's mouth fresh and clean
SUMMARY: Parents should show encouragement for children to begin a healthy regimen of brushing and flossing for a lifetime of good oral hygiene.
Posted: February 1, 2013
As we get older, our body and mind are reflective of how we've treated them throughout our lives. If we don't care for our body, we may be overweight, if we don't challenge our mind we may find it difficult to calculate problems, and if we don't maintain our oral health we may end up with unsightly yellow teeth. Getting to the root of things early, or preventing issues from arising in the first place, can help immensely in the long run. You know how these seemingly simple procedures get difficult? When you're a kid - you don't understand the consequences of skipping out on brushing or eating potato chips instead of carrot sticks! Making sure that your child maintains a regular oral health regimen will help them out now and in the long run.
Despite what many people believe, children can have bad breath just as older individuals do. The bacteria that accumulate in our mouths turns into a wicked smell over time, and children who don't have a healthy diet and don't keep up with brushing and flossing can see this problem start when they are little. Experts believe that issues with oral health can begin in preschool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of children between the ages of two and five have tooth decay. Did you know that tooth decay causes bad breath?
Brush and floss
Making sure that your children brush and floss twice a day is incredibly important to the health of their teeth and gums over time. Encourage the use of natural toothpaste that is safe for children to use and won't cause dry mouth. When they are old enough, parents should promote the use of alcohol free mouthwash, which will clean the mouth of unwanted bacteria. Alcohol free mouthwash may not cause the "fresh and clean" feeling of traditional mouthwash, but it is much better for your mouth!
A recent article reported that the state of Florida was rated by the Pew Children's Dental Campaign with a "D" for failing to provide children with the access to a critical, yet painless and cost-efficient procedure that protects teeth from decay. Sealants, which are typically applied to molars that are prone to getting cavities, can protect against bacteria that cause tooth decay and cost a fraction of the cost of a filling.
Florida and 14 other states received a "D," the District of Columbia and five others received an "F" and only five states received an "A." These grades were based on the availability of school-based sealant programs, hygienist supervision regulations, data collection participation and if the states met federal health objectives.
"If we just did the basic things, it would dramatically reduce oral health disease and improve quality of life, and sealants are one of the easiest things we can do - that and tooth brushing," Roderick K. King, executive director for the Florida Public Health Institute, told the Sun Sentinel.
Prevent, not remedy
It's always better to combat something before it arises - although that's not always possible. However, there are many ways that you can encourage your child to keep a healthy mouth. Eating healthy will have a great impact on the health of your child's mouth and teeth. Having your child eat fruits and vegetables can help combat the bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and cause bad breath, as well as clean the teeth of plaque. Hearty produce like apples, celery and carrots are abrasive enough to scrape off the sticky, white residue that sits on the teeth.