February is important for many reasons – it’s home to Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month, and every four years, it gives us Leap Day. But, did you know that February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month? If you weren’t aware, Dr. John Russo, the top children’s dentist in Orlando, gives you information on how to care for your son’s and daughter’s teeth – this month, and all year round.
What Is National Children’s Dental Health Month?
The focus on dental health for children began in Cleveland, Ohio in 1941 and became a nationwide movement endorsed and organized by the American Dental Association (ADA) in 1949. The ADA does its part to increase awareness of healthy oral hygiene habits to get kids off to a good start with this official month-long spotlight.
What Can I Do As A Parent To Increase My Child’s Dental Health?
Dr. Russo makes the following suggestions for parents who want to keep their children as healthy as possible when it comes to their teeth and gums:
- 2×2 – Encourage and remind your kids to brush their teeth gently twice a day, for two minutes. You can make this fun by playing a short song or setting a timer on your phone to keep kids engaged in brushing. Also, educate your kids on how to properly spit out toothpaste and mouthwash, rather than swallowing it.
- Floss – Teach your kids the importance of flossing, too. Make sure they floss their gums delicately, but thoroughly, by sliding floss along both sides of each tooth. If kids have gaps between teeth, try dental tape, since this can be more comfortable. And, waxed floss is always a safe bet to make flossing more enjoyable.
- See Your Dentist – Even if kids brush and floss daily, seeing Dr. Russo at least twice a year is crucial to set them up for lifelong dental success. Watch fun cartoons or read books about oral health that paint going to the dentist in a positive light. These stories from the ADA – in both English and Spanish – are a great start.
- Eat Healthy – We all know how many sweet treats are marketed directly at kids, so it’s important to steer your children away from fruit juices, candy, sugary cereal, and all of the other tooth decay-causing elements that abound. Instead, stick to water, try high-protein snacks and veggies, and say cheese – it’s high in calcium and can help saliva protect against enamel deterioration.
- Get Dental Sealants – Since children are still developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills, they may miss their back teeth. Dental Sealants are a safe and effective way to help children’s molars remain strong throughout their entire lives.
- Lead by Example – Remember, your children look to you as a role model. Even if you tell them the dentist is important, if they never see you go yourself, they’ll catch that underlying message. Brush and floss right alongside your kids and follow tooth-friendly eating habits, too. And, if you’re a smoker – stop. This is detrimental to your entire body, including your mouth.
Since Dr. Russo can treat not only children but mom and dad, too, schedule your appointment today with the expert in children’s dentistry in Orlando. He’ll keep your family’s smiles bright and healthy in February and all year long.