The idea that cavities and dental decay are caused by soft teeth or bad genes is a made-up myth that just won’t seem to die. Truth is, tooth decay is 100 percent preventable for everyone! What are passed from parents to children are the habits that fend off decay and keep smiles healthy and bright. Get your family into the habit of good oral health! Set a good example by brushing and flossing every day, and teaching children to do the same. Parents should wipe a baby’s gums after feeding, and begin brushing teeth as soon as they erupt. Once a child knows how to spit, they should begin learning to brush their own teeth. Around age six, most kids get the hang of it, but parents should reinforce the importance of good brushing by spot-checking regularly.
All toothbrushes need to be replaced every three months, but children’s brushes often wear out even earlier. Teach your children to notice frayed bristles, and remind you when they need a new toothbrush. Pointing out the importance of dental care will help reinforce the importance of good oral and overall health. If your kids zone out at the mention of healthy habits, don’t panic! There are still ways to pique their interest. The Smile Squad<sup>TM</sup> website offers online games and animated adventures designed to teach good oral health habits to children in a fun, engaging way. You might just learn a thing or two yourself!