(BPT) - Student wellness is a key part of success in school, especially this year. While proactive measures like increased hand washing are widely implemented, it's important not to overlook oral health like a sensitive tooth, throbbing mouth pain or even a cavity. These are signs of tooth decay that can have an incredible impact on kids' quality of life, including their ability to attend to school.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, kids will miss 34 million school hours each year due to oral health issues. By helping kids learn to properly care for their teeth, you can encourage good oral health so they don't have to miss school due to tooth decay. Here are some easy tips for going the extra smile with your family this year from Crest and Oral-B.
1. Follow the 2 minutes/2x a day rule: Brush for 2 minutes, two times a day. Every morning and night have kids brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, such as Crest Kid’s Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun Toothpaste paired with an Oral-B Kids brush that’s gentle on enamel but tough on cavities. If it helps, set a timer to track the 2 minutes and count down to a healthier smile.
2. Encourage good oral habits: It's never too early or late to improve brushing habits. To make brushing fun for kids, use a habit tracker or reward system. Things like adding stickers on a calendar, checking off a to-do list and celebrating with a movie night can make brushing fun.
3. Be a role model: Lead by example by brushing regularly and prioritizing your own oral health. Show proper brushing technique and help build environmental responsibility such as turning off the faucet while brushing or recycling oral care waste. Children's minds are like little sponges soaking up what they see and hear, so be a champion for oral health.
4. Promote healthy eating: Good nutrition plays an important role in the health and cleanliness of your teeth, gums and mouth. Encourage a nutritious diet featuring things like leafy greens, apples, protein-packed nuts, and dairy like milk and yogurt.
"At Crest and Oral-B, we want to make sure all kids start the school year with a healthy smile,” said Carlos Quintero, vice president, North America Oral Care, P&G. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with Feeding America to donate oral care products to families and communities in need this season to prevent the loss of school hours due to tooth decay."
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry - Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center: State of Little Teeth Report. 2nd ed. 2019