After spending two weeks away with the kids on Spring Break I realize how fast they're growing up. I've realized that a child is very impressionable and they learn from those around them – the old learn from example came to mind quite a few times. I realized the kids copied what we did whether it was out hiking, making food choices ,or personal hygiene. The habits we teach them now will stick with them for life so I would like to teach them to lead a healthy lifestyle and allow them to make the decisions that best suit them as individuals. Huge revelation right?! Well sometimes it is easier said than done but I will do my best, after all that's the best any of us can do right. So my focus for this post is all about dental health and why it's important to me and my family.
A Healthy Lifestyle Begins At Home with Dental Health
Growing up I remember my grandparents all having dentures and I knew from that point on when I saw them in the glass at night that I NEVER wanted to have dentures. As a five year old it really freaked me out to think they literally had no teeth. Still gives me shivers to this day. So when it was time to go to the dentist I had no objections and I still regularly visit my dentist every six months to this day. I have to say my new dentist is like going to a spa though with the heated massage chairs and flat screen TVs over the chairs I really have no complaints.
But back to why I'm actually writing this post…
Did you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Understanding the link between oral health and overall health is a great approach to teaching kids a healthy lifestyle. I feel that in order to educate my kids I first need to educate myself. If you're looking for somewhere to start your research the BC Dental website has a wealth of knowledge that I found very useful.
Your mouth is full of bacteria most of which are harmless so don't go pulling out the mouthwash and trying to kill all the germs. Our body's natural defenses paired with good dental health care can keep these bacteria under control. Without proper hygiene oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with gum disease can play a role in some diseases.
So How Can You Develop Proper Oral Health Routines?
Now is the most important time to teach our children proper oral health practices and also for any pregnant women out there to be pay extra close attention to their oral health practices. Dental disease is largely preventable with regular dentist visits and are the best in early detection and prevention of dental disease, because having strong teeth is very important!
I'll start off with dental care during pregnancy because after all that's where it all starts right! A few things to keep in mind during pregnancy are:
- Your risk of dental disease may increase and your mouth is no exception to the number of changes your body undergoes
- Bacteria in your mouth can transfer throughout your body
- Steps to care for your dental health:
- Maintain a good daily dental care routine (brush and floss twice a day)
- Eat a well balanced diet and make sure you’ve got all the food groups as well as lots of water
- Visit your dentist for an exam to monitor and address any issues early
Now for the kidlets, teaching them brushing from birth (obviously with assistance) is extremely important because they start developing teeth at such a young age.
Preventing Early Childhood Tooth Decay
Did you know:
- Early childhood tooth decay is preventable and the most common chronic disease for children under 5 in BC
- Baby teeth are an important part of your child’s nutrition, speech development and self-confidence.
- Some preventable actions you can take are:
- Clean you baby’s mouth using a soft wet cloth
- Within six months of seeing the first tooth schedule a dental visit because it’s never too early!
- Make brushing fun and develop a routine.
At our house we have a calendar in the bathroom that we call brush your teeth calendar because they get a sticker once they’ve brushed their teeth in the morning! I like to make it fun for the kids and a rewarding experience so it doesn't seem like a chore each and every day.
I hope that you were able to take some pointers away on developing a healthy lifestyle and how it starts with oral health! I know that by doing all the research and asking questions at the dentist I feel confident in leading by example!
What are your dental health routines?
This post was brought to you by the BC Dental Association via SheBlogs. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the BC Dental Association.