National Children’s Dental Health Month: Sugar Wars

As an adult, you’re probably well aware that your best chance at healthy teeth and gums involves brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sugar and acidic foods, and making periodic visits to the dentist, but can you honestly say you gave your teeth and gums the same degree of attention when you were a child?

sugar wars national children's dental health monthFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month, making it a great time to instill those healthy habits that you now know by heart. A lot of kids visit the dentist and then practice strong dental hygiene for several weeks, but all too often, the “importance” of maintaining healthy teeth and gums starts to fade, and the brushing and flossing instances become fewer and farther between. Here’s what your kids need to know this month and every month to maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent tooth deterioration and related problems down the line.

The Longer Sugar Sits on Your Teeth, the Greater the Damage

When you eat or drink a lot of sugar, that sugar produces acids that dissolve and damage your teeth. Generally, the more sugar you eat, the higher your chances of tooth decay. While it’s not realistic to avoid all sugar altogether for the rest of your life, it’s wise to brush as soon as possible after consuming sugary foods and drinks in an effort to minimize the time sugar sits in your mouth – and therefore, the damage it does to your teeth. Brushing twice a day is great, but brushing after every meal is even better.

Brush (at Least) Twice a Day for Two Minutes at a Time

Teach your kids to brush in the morning, at night and ideally, in between. Brushing twice daily is critical for preventing tooth decay and eliminating embarrassing problems like bad breath, but it’s also important that you brush for long enough to make an impact. A full two minutes is the recommendation, so get your kids a timer or have them use a cell phone or clock to ensure they’re brushing vigorously for the entire two-minute period.

Follow these tips and make sure your kids visit the dentist regularly for their best chance at beautiful, long lasting and healthy teeth and gums.