Good Health Starts at Home: Teaching Your Kids the Importance of Dental Health

Teach Healthy Habits

Most kids learn by example. Even when they are not quite able to communicate or express themselves, they take a lot in by sight. That is how children learn to recognize patterns, learn to read and do a plethora of other things. Children will often mimic their parents as a means of learning – after all, you are their biggest influence, especially during their earlier and more formative years. There are plenty of important things that parents should want to impart unto their children, and one of them should be maintaining good oral hygiene. As a parent, you can do a lot to help form your child’s ideas of health and wellness while also instilling them with healthy habits and other resourceful tools that they can continue to use as they get older.

The first thing you can do is to lead by example. When your child is extremely young, they will not be able to hold a toothbrush on their own, let alone operate it with any finesse. As they get older, however, it is important that you let your children try to brush their own teeth. At first, have them brush along with you. Not only will they be more willing to participate in the activity, but they will watch how you brush your own teeth and will try to emulate your habits.  This can help teach kids how to brush as well as how important it is to brush in the first place.  In general, it is recommended that children and adults brush twice a day. Brush alongside them while getting ready in the morning and before bed at night in order to instill these habits as a natural part of a daily routine.

Family brushing teeth

When it comes to kid’s dental care, it is also wise to help them out along the way. Make sure that you buy toothpastes that are sensitive to children’s mouths but still have healthy ingredients like fluoride that can help with mineralization, a process that helps strengthen teeth. Children’s teeth, or baby teeth specifically, tend to be small, sensitive and prone to decay and rot so it is imperative that your child brush and rinse with fluoride products that can help eliminate plaque and other harmful forms of bacteria.

Eating healthy plays a huge role in dental health, as well, but this is something that you as a parent should have more control over – at least at first, anyway. The sorts of foods and drinks you prepare for and give to your child will affect their present health as well as their future health, and it can have a huge impact on the diet choices and habits that your children will have as they get older. Eating healthy, non-processed foods is a great way to help keep teeth healthy. And as you know, things that are high in sugar should be avoided or at least kept to a minimum. Kids have a known weakness for sweets, so it is important to keep a watchful eye on just how much your child eats and how often.

There are so many other things that you can do and incorporate into your daily life, but one of the most important things you should be doing is scheduling routine appointments with your dentist. Adults and children alike should be visiting the dentist about twice a year for routine cleanings and general exams. Not only will a dentist be able to monitor your child’s dental health and perform any general dental services that they may need, but they can also impart some professional advice to you as a parent regarding any personal or individual needs your child may have in regards to their dental health.

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Please No Fast Food Mom!

Healthy Eating
While childhood obesity is a serious issue in the United States, healthy eating habits for children affect more than just their weight. Making sure that your child is physically healthy, including their weight and body mass, has a huge impact on their mental health and development as well. Eating healthy and having healthy eating habits can give kids the energy that they need, sharpen their minds, and it can even temper their moods. There are plenty of benefits to eating healthy, and there are several ways in which you can instill good eating habits.
Kids may have a notorious sweet-tooth and a love for junk food, and while such treats may be alright to give them once in a while, it is not good for their overall health to give it to them all the time. These may seem like easy food options for busy parents. Sweets, junk food or fast food may be easy and convenient and kids are not likely to complain about eating them. It may seem like an easy go-to when you’re on the run between taking kids to school, going to work and running errands, but these food options are not good for your child’s development.
Perhaps the most important part of a healthy diet for kids is breakfast. Eating breakfast gives kids the physical and mental energy that they need to start their day, which is especially important on school days when their focus is especially important. Going without breakfast can have a severe impact on their academic performance. Kids who are not given breakfast are not capable of performing as well in school because of a lack of focus, mental energy and overall lack of nutrition. There is a reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day – and this is especially true for children whose bodies and minds are growing and developing rapidly every day.
Eat Fruits!
There are plenty of ways to instill a healthy diet, with your children and with your whole family. If you find that you are pressed for time, then preparing meals ahead of time can be a viable solution. Many kids are not given breakfast because mornings can be hectic, but this is no excuse. Parents with busy schedules need to provide for their children and not being able to do so is detrimental to their health. If you are a parent whose mornings are particularly busy, then consider preparing breakfast and packing lunches in the evening. You can do this while making dinner or when dinner is over. While you are still in the kitchen, you can prepare meals for the next day and tackle all of the related clean-up at once. When prepping such meals, it is important to be mindful of the nutritional values as well. Try making well-balanced dishes consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables that will gives kids the nutrition they need to develop their minds, stay physically healthy and feel good.
Family Meals
Routines can also help improve the family’s eating habits. Planning regular family meals, such as dinner, can work wonders. Have your kids participate in the prepping and cooking of the meal as well. If kids are involved in the cooking process, they are more likely to want to try new, healthy foods that they may otherwise reject or be weary of such as vegetables or other healthy items. It is also important to be mindful of portion sizes.
Snacking is another thing that parents should be concerned about. Kids may ask for candies, chips and other things of that nature, and while these snack options may seem easy, they are not very healthy. There are chips and crackers that contain whole grains, which can make a better substitute to greasy potato chips. Small veggies like baby carrots or cut-up fruits like banana or apple slices are also great snack options as well. These are not empty-calorie snacks – instead they are full of essential nutrients and will help boost your child’s brainpower and their overall wellbeing.
Another great way to instill good eating habits is to make it fun! Cutting snacks into fun shapes or even playing around with food coloring can help entice even the most picky or reluctant eaters. Making a game out of eating and making it healthy can be easier than you think.

It is important that children eat well if you want them to stay healthy both physically and mentally. We hope these tips will help you work a healthy diet into a busy schedule and in the long run it will do wonders for everyone in your family, especially your children. is a children’s book publishing company and provides tips and resources on reading and overall parenting advice for busy parents.