May Is National Family Wellness Month
GRAYSLAKE, ILLINOIS – May is National Family Wellness Month. A big component of health and wellness is oral heath. This month, Dr. Michael Stosich, an adult orthodontist and Wilmette orthodontics expert, urges families to take a closer look at their oral health routines.
Parents, you can start teaching good oral hygiene before your child’s baby teeth come in. It is recommended that once a day, you wipe out your child’s mouth with a soft cloth or gauze pad to remove any milk residue and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Once teeth have come in, brush your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush daily. After the age of 2, only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is needed.
It’s normal for your children to be opposed to brushing their teeth, but there are ways in which you can make it a fun activity and promote good hygiene behaviors.
- Let your child pick out his own toothbrush and toothpaste. He will be more inclined to want to brush his teeth if he have a toothbrush and toothpaste of his choice to look forward to. Also consider electric toothbrushes, which add novelty to the experience and may hold his attention longer.
- Singing a song while he brushes teaches him how long he needs to scrub his teeth. A good rule is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Make brushing a contest. Consider starting a sticker chart or offering a prize when he brushes his teeth for two minutes.
- Make bedtime brushing a ritual. Teach him to brush his teeth before bed every night to eliminate food buildup and prevent tooth decay.
- Make brushing and flossing a family activity. Children often learn by mimicking their parents. Give young children their own toothbrush while you brush your teeth so they can learn by example. Once they are old enough to begin using toothpaste, carefully supervise them until they are accustomed to the process.
Instilling good oral hygiene habits while children are young sets them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Habits as simple as brushing their teeth twice daily wards off tooth decay and the myriad ailments that might need extra dental work such as Invisalign braces, says braces Wilmette professional Dr. Stosich.