February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which makes it a great time to schedule your child a check up or work to improve their dental hygiene. Of course, many people associate dental care with high prices, which could detour you from wanting to partake in the month. Luckily, there’s actually quite a few ways you can cut back on the amount of money you spend when it comes to helping your child maintain dental health. These ten tips will allow you to show your children the ropes when it comes to a healthy dental hygiene lifestyle while helping to keep money in your pocket. So, this month, find the right ways to help keep your children’s mouth healthy to ensure you don’t have to deal with dental work in the future.
1. Enforce Habits Early
One of the best tools you can use to help prevent high costs in dental care is to help your children learn proper dental hygiene at an early age. One of the first things to teach your child is how to efficiently brush their teeth and to encourage them to do it twice a day. This will help cut back on gum disease as well as cavities. When children are old enough, they should also work on flossing to prevent cavities from popping up in between the teeth. Of course, it can be hard to start these habits off right, so try to make it a game when you can. Your children will fall in love with brushing, which should get them in the right mindset to do it every night. When you begin these habits, your child will have it set in their minds to do it every night, thus helping them lead healthier lives with less dental work in their future.
2. Restrict Sweets
Without a doubt, children love to satisfy their sweet tooth, which can wreak havoc on their teeth. If you can, try to limit your child’s sweets intake, so they can prevent cavities in the future and develop healthier eating habits. Many parents tend to allow children to have sweets on a daily basis as snacks or quick treats. This can really harm your child’s teeth, especially if it is happening multiple times a day. One of the best habits to get into is offering fruit to satisfy the sweet craving. Most fruits are great for the teeth and will allow you to give your child more nutrients that they need to grow up healthy.
3. Eat Healthy
Apart from cutting down on sweets, you need to try to make an effort to get your children to eat healthier on a daily basis. This might require you to change the way the whole family eats in order to provide a solid example of how you should eat every day. Apart from providing the body with proper vitamins and nutrients, eating healthy actually builds strong teeth. Believe it or not but eating raw vegetables can actually get rid of plaque on the teeth, which helps to prevent decay that causes cavities. Drinking water will also help with dental problems and bad breath, as bacteria tends to grow in a dry mouth. Eating and drinking food with calcium will also help build strong enamel, which protects the tooth from decay. Cutting back on drinks with caffeine, especially soda, can even make your teeth whiter.
4. Get Insured
Although dental insurance often means spending more money, it can help save you a whole lot more than you would expect. Simply getting a cleaning and check up can cost around $100 depending on the dentist, which is a dental visit that is usually covered twice a year with most dental insurance. You can also get hit with some pretty hefty bills if you need dental work and don’t have insurance. It is always better to be safe than sorry too, as it would be a huge hit on your budget if a child chipped a tooth or ended up needing braces or a retainer. So, do yourself a favor and look into dental insurance if you don’t already have it.
5. Avoid Extra Procedures
One of the major problems with the dental world is many dentists try to push too much work on their patients. For instance, you don’t actually need x-rays on your teeth every time you pay a visit to the dentist. This is especially the case if your x-rays have always come back as healthy and if you are a fully-grown adult. Many other procedures are often unnecessary, so if you think you’re being taken for a ride then get a second opinion or talk to a dentist online. You might be surprised as to how much you can save simply by knowing what should be happening with your dental visits and your children’s.
6. Research Products
When it comes to shopping for your kids’ dental hygiene products, a little research is one of the best ways to figure out what is going to work best for your child. Although there are a lot of products to choose from, not all of them are good for your child’s dental health. For instance, some toothpastes concentrate more on the delicious flavor opposed to the actual cleaning principles. Although its great for teaching kids to brush, it isn’t very good for preventing cavities. Even some kids’ flossers aren’t as safe as they are made out to be. Luckily, there’s lots of great recommendations to help you choose what is going to be right for your children. So, you can check out reviews from actual dentists when you’re looking for something to help your child’s mouth stay healthy.
7. Set Up a Timer
Believe it or not, but time can be your child’s best friend when it comes to dental hygiene. It is recommended that your child brush for at least five minutes, twice a day. This can be tough for children that just want to go off and have fun. So, you might want to look for a timer to ensure that your child brushes for the right period of time. There are lots of fun timers to choose from. You can even find one that suits your bathroom’s theme if that is important for you. This might actually allow your child to have some fun with brushing too. You can even have fun with the brushing period by coming up with games or giving rewards to children that brush for the entire period of time.
8. Bargain Hunt
Without a doubt, seeing a dentist is important for dental health. However, some dentists tend to charge an arm and a leg for their service. So, it’s always wise to look around. A lot of parents begin to look for dentist that have child-friendly offices. However, a lot of these offices tend to be a bit more expensive. They may have cute chairs for the kids to sit in, but their services are equal to those who often charge less. So, make sure to look around to see who has the best reviews and prices. This will help you find a long-term dentist that will ensure your child will grow to love going to the dentist and will feel safe in the environment they are in.
9. Take Precautions
When it comes to dental hygiene, taking precautions is one of the best ways to go. For instance, teaching children to brush and floss properly will set them up for a lifetime of good health. However, there are other precautions you can make to ensure your child will have a healthier mouth. One of these precautions is sealants. These go into the deep grooves of molars to help protect them from cavities. These back teeth are often harder for children to brush, especially if the grooves are deep. Sealants also cost less money than filling a cavity, so you will save even more money by taking precautions like these.
10. Explain Dental Hygiene
One of the best ways to ensure your child is doing their best when it comes to dental hygiene is to help them understand why they have to practice good health. A lot of children are shown what to do to keep their mouths healthy, but they don’t know why they have to practice these habits. There’s actually plenty of pamphlets available that children understand why they need to brush and how to do it. There are even age appropriate options to ensure that children understand about tooth decay and more as they grow. This knowledge will encourage children to brush and floss, as they will know what exactly is going on in their mouth.
National Children’s Dental Hygiene Month is a great time to help your children get the hang of brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist. Of course, it is also a great time for you to learn all of the amazing things that can help you save money when it comes to your child’s dental needs. With any luck, these ten tips will set you on the right track so you can easily make sure your child’s dental health is always great.