Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids – Part 1/3

This is the first in a series of three articles about keeping your kid’s healthy, with a focus on dental hygiene and dental care.

What has this got to do with insurance and the products we promote at Lyons Financial Services? Well quite a lot really! We believe that dental insurance is a very important product as it provides financial protection against dental bills, which can be extremely hefty at times… However prevention is always better than a cure, so the focus of these articles is to help you prevent your children developing problems with their teeth.

How you care for your child’s teeth will affect their ability to learn and to grow up healthy. By encouraging good oral health habits in your family, you will keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong and give them a smile to treasure for a lifetime. Throughout this three part series we will give you tips on how to successfully start on the road to that lifelong, sparkly white smile. This first part of our three part series on Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids focuses on giving tooth tips for children ages 0-7. We’ll also outline what kind of foods your child should eat to retain healthy teeth.

To learn new things, your child needs to feel healthy and strong. Cavities or tooth decay in children can be painful and uncomfortable, which can stop them from doing their best when learning at home or at school. Preventing tooth decay will help your child’s progress and promote good overall health.

Toothbrushing Tips for Children 0-7 Years

Kids aged 0-6 months will not have any teeth present just yet, so when cleaning their mouths just use warm water and a piece of gauze.

Normally a child’s first tooth will come at around 6 months. To clean these new teeth and their gums, use a soft children’s brush and some warm water. Bring a child to your dentist before their 1st birthday and ask about when to introduce fluoride toothpaste.

From age 2-7, kids will develop more and more of their teeth. Use a pea size amount of adult fluoride toothpaste when cleaning these teeth. Assist your child with brushing in the morning and at night-time. Spit out after brushing – do not swallow the toothpaste! Delay brushing for 1 hour after snacking. Bring your child to the dentist for an annual check up unless other issues arise throughout the year.

Choosing Healthy Foods at Home and at School

Encouraging your child to eat a healthy diet will help them to stay alert and responsive in school and will also help to protect their teeth. Choosing healthy foods and establishing good eating habits are an important part of your child’s oral health.

Below are some tips for establishing good eating habits and building your child’s oral health.

  • For meals at home, serve your child’s food from the main food groups.
  • Eat plenty of fruit of all colours and plenty of vegetables and the greater the variety the better.
  • Fish, poultry, beans and nuts are examples of healthy protein.
  • Eat whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread and whole grain pasta.
  • Eat dairy products in moderation.
  • Encourage your child to drink lots of water.
  • Encourage your child to make healthy snack choices and ask your child’s school to encourage healthy eating at break time.
  • Avoid sweets, biscuits and cakes, which cause tooth decay, and may contribute to other health problems.
  • Limit sweetened drinks and acidic fruit juices, which are harmful to teeth.
  • Limit sugary snacks to one or two a day and preferably at meal times.

Here at Lyons Financial Services we are delighted to work with DeCare Dental. They provide specialist dental insurance and oral health advice and we thank them for their aid and advice in writing this series of oral health articles.