Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright

We are a family of four... and together we have a whole lot of teeth. Some big, some small... some baby teeth ... and they all contribute to a family of four with a lot of white smiles to go around. I think establishing a good foundation of oral hygiene is essential to them keeping those great smiles throughout their lifetime.

Did you know that each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease in America [1]? In fact, tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds[2]. That’s why Trident® has partnered with Smiles Across America® to help underprivileged children get the dental care they need.

TwitterMoms & Trident have teamed up for a new blogging promotion. They are spreading the word about achieving healthy smiles.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
  • Brush: Remind children to brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. We usually brush after meals and the kiddos each get to pick out their toothbrush every other month at the store. They definitely know whos is whos... even the baby! We also brush as a family and the baby even had her toothbrush before she had teeth. I wanted it to be a normal routine for all of us.
  • Eat: Nutritious foods are an important part of keeping children’s smiles healthy and their teeth strong. Harder vegetables and fruits like carrots and apples are great examples.
  • Floss: Have children gently floss once a day to remove food that can get stuck between their teeth and sticky plaque that forms on their teeth. Brushing alone cannot reach all of the surfaces on a tooth. This can be tricky, but the individual floss sticks are easiest for younger children to maneuver.
  • Avoid: Try to avoid overindulging in sticky and sugary foods. When kids do have a special treat, make sure they brush and floss afterward. This is the hardest for us to stick with!
  • Routine: Remember to get regular dental check-ups. Have them visit a dentist twice a year to make sure that they are taking good care of their teeth and gums. Call your dentist to discuss when your children should start their check ups. We were told 2, but some want to an appointment as soon as teeth start to emerge.
And what about Trident? Well, Chewing for 20 minutes after a meal can help reduce cavities. It is easy because with 11 different flavors to choose from there is bound to be one for everyone. And Trident uses Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener which has been shown to loosen plaque. Not bad, huh?

For more information:

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

[1] Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, May 2000
[2] National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III
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