Thursday, August 26, 2010

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

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.

It’s no surprise that education can play a large role in preventing cavities. Nine in 10 (92%) parents believe cavities in children are preventable, yet a majority of parents (86%) struggle to get a child to take care of their teeth[3]. So how can parents get involved and convince their children to take proper care of his or her teeth? It is no easy task, but there are simple tips and reminders to keep in mind. For instance, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugar free gum, like Trident®, after meals helps fight cavities[4].

[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
[3] Trident: Oral Health perception survey, June 2010
[4] Deshpande A, Jadad A. The impact of polyol-containing chewing gums on dental caries: A systematic review of original randomized controlled trials and observational studies. JADA 2008; 139:1602-1614.

I am one of a few bloggers that are teaming up with Trident and TwitterMoms to help share five simple things you can do for your child to keep their smiles healthy and bright. I have to admit that I have not always been one to take care of my teeth or my children's either. In fact, I had to confess to the dentist earlier this year that my daughter (she was 9 at the time) had never been to a dentist. I was embarrassed to say the least, but I did not have dental insurance so it was hard. Now I have AFLAC dental and we have regular visits. I am going to share some tips for you moms that you can use for your kids whether you have insurance or not.

1) Start your kids out young with the brushing. If you wait until they are older then they will already be in the "wrong" kind of habit. I used to give my kids a tooth brush to chew on when they were cutting teeth; it helped to soothe them and it also brushed on their teeth as well.

2) YOU have to be the example!! If your kids do not see you brush your teeth regularly then they are not going to brush either.

3) Encourage them to drink milk. We all know that milk has calcium in it and calcium is good for teeth. If your kids do not like milk, show them other options of calcioum fortified items such as yogurt and cheese.

4) Monitor your kids cugar intake. I know this is hard sometimes to do but if they have a time or day that they have a lot of sugar, have them brush extra that day. This will help them to get into a habit of doing that.

5)All kids love chewing gum, so why not give them some Trident gum that actually helps to fight cavities!

Just remember to always encourage your kids. There are so many kids in the world today that get picked on because of "petty" things and we, as parents, don't want to give them any ammunition. It is fun for the tooth fairy to come, but she quits when it is permanent teeth coming out!

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

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