3 Ways To Help Improve Your Children's Dental Health That Go Beyond Brushing

Posted on: 14 April 2016

If you're a parent who is trying to keep your children's teeth as healthy as possible, you're no doubt ensuring they brush and floss regularly, in addition to limiting the candy they can have. But there are more things you can do that will contribute to the children's dental and gum health as well as to their overall health. Here's a look at three actions that will help your children's tooth and gum health in lasting ways.

Change the Afternoon Snack

If your children come home and eat afternoon snacks composed of things like chips, crackers, mochi, and other starchy foods, change those snacks to apples, carrots, cheese cubes, and other foods that are either crunchy fruits and vegetables or that are dairy-based. Fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots promote saliva production, wash away bits of food, and act like edible toothbrush bristles, removing bacteria as the fruits and vegetables are chewed. Starchy foods can stick to teeth and act like little bacteria farms, much like sticky candies do.

Cheese cubes and other dairy products like yogurt contain calcium that is vital for tooth health. String cheese, cheese cube skewers (or toothpicks, for small cubes), and yogurt mixed with fresh fruit are easy to prepare and eat.

Ask the School to Stop Giving Candy as Rewards

Many teachers use pieces of candy to reward students for paying attention or doing other good things. This is a controversial practice now as parents and administrators become more aware of how much sugar children are eating, but not all schools have policies about this. If your children's teachers use candy, ask the teachers to not do that with your children. Get the school administration to back you up if possible, and have your children's doctor and dentist back you up as well. Even if you can't change the school's overall policy, you can change what they give your child.

Teach Your Kids to Cook

Even if you make fast meals at home that use canned or frozen goods, get your children involved. A 2014 study showed children who helped cook at home were more likely to eat healthier and choose healthier foods. That can help both overall health and oral health as your children would get more of the nutrients they need and likely eat less of the foods that could promote tooth decay.

For more ideas about keeping your children's teeth and gums healthy, or for help getting your children's teachers to stop using candy as a reward, talk to a dentist like A Wild Smile. He or she will help you make a plan to promote dental health in all aspects of the children's lives.