1. A Little Bit of Knowledge Goes a VERY Long Way. It is one thing to be told to do something, "Brush your teeth," or be told not to do something, "Don't eat sugar," but it is a whole other thing to understand WHY you follow certain rules and, by doing so, inviting personal understanding. Obviously kids normally require simple explanations and although oral health and disease can be very complicated subjects, they can also be made very simple. Explain to your kids that sugars, sodas, simple carbohydrates and even fruit juices are superfoods for bacteria, which are a natural part of your mouth. But when you feed them too much, they grow like crazy. When they grow like crazy, then they end up eating away at the teeth and gums, which is not good. Let them know that by brushing and flossing TWICE a day, they are actually fighting back by knocking out the "bad guys" and stopping them from causing damage. Make it a game, but make it one that they have a basic understanding of. IMPORTANT FACT: Most people think of brushing and flossing as food-removal actions, while this is true the bottom line is that the real goal is to disrupt the bacteria growth cycle!
2. Their own natural systems are pretty powerful, work with them! Here is some great advice and info for kids and adults alike. Your mouth's saliva is one of the most important defenses against the acids created by bacteria and saliva even contains stuff to help repair and remineralize your teeth, pretty cool. So help your body out and follow these two guidelines: one, keep your body hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and two, wait twenty minutes after eating to let your saliva go to work and then either swish your mouth out with water (water plus sea salt is also great, add some of our OraRestore drops and you have a SUPER rinse) or brush. This simple action can help to reduce the acid production in your mouth
3. Choose a dentist that can communicate and that will treat your kids like adults. A trip to the dentist is not tops on anyone's fun list. But it does not have to be a terrifying experience to be avoided at all costs. Like any health issues, regular care will normally catch problems early before they can become big issues and routine dental visits are no exception. Some dentists treat children like little kids rather than the little adults that they are. With poor communication and overwhelming approaches, a trip to the dentist becomes a horrible experience and these bad experiences can lead to a lifetime of avoiding the dentist. Little problems can become major issues. Teeth are lost, gum disease sets in and major health issues can develop. So, choose your child's dentist well and ensure that he or she possesses a calm and communicative nature.
4. Limit the intake of sugars, sodas and juices–in particular the timing or regularity of intake. As the saying goes, "Timing is everything." While no one will argue that sugary treats are good for anyone, let's be real and recognize the world that we live in. Sure you can forbid your child to ever touch sugar, but chances are that this is not an approach that is workable. While sugars, sodas, simple carbohydrates, juices and such are damaging to your mouth and body, it is equally important to recognize and honor the fact that the regularity of intake is what can take mildly harmful or bad to something truly horrific. The same amount of sugar taken throughout the day, as opposed to one sitting, will do far, far more damage to your mouth and body. There is a lot of science behind this, but for brevity just trust that if you can limit such foods to isolated periods you will move far ahead of the game.
5. A balanced and healthy mix of beneficial bacteria is your best approach to great oral health. The number one source and cause of tooth decay, gum disease, chronic bad breath and even many ear-nose-throat infections can be traced to the bacteria in your mouth. And before you get the wrong idea, you do not want to engage on a "nuke them" strategy and you will really destroy your oral health by doing so. First of all, bacteria are super survivors and you just aren't going to get rid of them as they will grow right back and secondly, you need bacteria to survive–seriously, without bacteria in and on our bodies we could not live. The key is to build a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and to crowd out the "bad guys." We do this in our stomach with yogurts, fermented foods and by taking gut probiotics. Simply put, probiotics are microorganisms that bring a healthy benefit to us. Well, the mouth is no exception and, by adding an effective multi-strain formulation of beneficial bacteria to your mouth, you are attacking oral health disease and tooth decay at the very source. Adding a daily "chew" of oral probiotics to your kid's life can not only transform future dental checkups but these probiotics can provide serious immune support as well for fighting off many sore throats, ear infections and even sinus problems.