10 Tips to Help the Children in Your Life Keep a Healthy Smile
Start strong with good habits
- Lead by example. Show your kids that practicing good oral health is important and can be fun by practicing good oral health yourself.
- Choose a dentist that you and your family will like and trust. It will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
- Take them to the dentist regularly – usually every six months or as directed by your dentist – for routine cleanings and checkups. This is not only good for the mouth; it can also help your child build a comfort level with the dentist.
- Remind them to brush. Always ask your children if they brushed their teeth before they leave for school and when they are getting ready for bed.
- Encourage them to brush at school. A travel toothbrush can be easily packed in your child’s backpack so that he or she can brush after snacks and lunch while at school.
- Teach the importance of flossing. Flossing is just as important as brushing and may also help prevent gum disease. Gum disease may be associated with health complications later in life.
- Make sure your child eats breakfast every day. There’s evidence that young people who eat a high protein breakfast have noticeable reductions in cravings for sweets later in the day.*
- If they’re going to drink soda, have them use a straw. Doing so reduces their teeth’s exposure to sugar.
- Reduce sugar in their diets. Replace sugary snacks and drinks with healthy alternatives, such as fruit, cheese and crackers and water.
- Reward healthy habits. Leave little treats from the “tooth fairy,” every now and then, to reward your child for practicing good oral health.
This information is provided by Cigna solely for educational purposes to promote customer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not ended to be a substitute for proper dental care provided by a dentist. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied in this document. Always consult with your dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations.