A family who takes care of their teeth together is a beautiful thing. Children learn healthy habits from watching their parents and from getting encouragement from them as well. Here are some healthy dental habits from Dr. Patel that you can start trying to foster today to benefit you and your children tomorrow.

Five Healthy Dental Habits for Panama City Smiles Families

Brushing Regularly – Any parent will tell you that one of the hardest things to get a child to do is brush their teeth on a regular basis. The problem seems to be that there is nothing fun about brushing their teeth. At least with washing themselves, they can take a bath and have fun in the water. Showers are cool because they can mess with the shower head and turn on the massaging spray, but brushing is not cool or fun. It is a chore, and kids hate chores.

One way to help your child get into the consistent habit of always brushing their teeth in the morning and night is to do it with them. Grab your brush and tube of toothpaste, and go in with them. Show them that even though it may not be as cool as a bath, they still should do it. Kids emulate the behavior they see in their parents, so let them see you brushing your teeth. They will be more likely to brush and will also learn the proper technique. This will pay dividends in the form of lower dental bills (no or at least fewer cavities to fill).

Flossing Regularly – The least fun dental task is flossing. It takes forever, and many adults don’t even know the benefits of flossing. They just know that it is something their dentist said they had to do. Flossing is crucial to helping you avoid cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. So, how do you get your kid to do something that you don’t even like doing? Well, as an adult you have to do things every day that you don’t really want to do, like get up and go to work. Add another item to that list and floss with your child. You can help them learn the proper way to floss, and this will help it not be such a frustrating task (learning how to hold the floss can be tricky when your hands are small). Once again, letting them see the behavior you want them to pick up is a very effective way of building the habit of daily flossing.

Don’t Miss Your Dental Exams and Dental Cleanings – One of the most important things you can do for your smile is to keep your regular dental appointments with Panama City Smiles. This is where Dr. Patel can get a look at what is going on with your mouth and address any issues that may be creeping up. Kids go to the dentist when they are young because adults make them. They fall off when they get older because they don’t want to go, and no one has impressed upon them how important these regular visits are. Don’t skip out on your dental appointments, and make sure that your kids know you go to the dentist. That is how they’ll know that dental exams and dental cleanings should be a priority, even after they reach adulthood.

Drink Plenty of Water – Kids seem to like drinking anything and everything except water. This is bad, because one of the biggest causes of inadequate saliva in your mouth (dry mouth) is dehydration. Dry mouth can lead to the development of cavities and allow gum disease to develop. That’s because there is no saliva to wash away the bacteria that is attacking your teeth and gums. Dry mouth will also cause your breath to be less than stellar. Your kids are always going to want the drinks that taste good, so let them see you drinking water regularly. Also, leaving the soda or sugary drinks off of the shopping list will go a long way in getting them to pick water. When you’re thirsty, you drink what’s there, so make sure it is water more often than not.

Avoid Foods High in Sugar and/or Acid Content – Foods that are high in sugar and high in acid can harm your teeth. Once again, leave these kinds of food off the shopping list and fill your refrigerator with healthy options. Be careful with oranges or other acidic fruits. These are good for your kids’ bodies but can be harmful for their teeth if the acid sits too long. Make sure you tell them to rinse their mouth afterward (great chance to push the water). Again, model the behavior you want to see in your children.

Call our Panama City, FL office today at 850-588-0185 to schedule an appointment for you and your children.