We all love to eat; whether it’s chowing down on some home-made cooking, going out on a hike and taking a handful of your trail mix, or maybe even sampling the dishes of fine dining, food is something no one can ever deny. And, the unsung heroes that allow us to taste and fill ourselves with such delicious food are our teeth, the strongest bones in our body that allow us to crunch and chew through all types of food.
However, a lot of us tend to neglect taking care of them, casually forgetting to brush our teeth right before we go to bed or not even mind to floss. What’s worse is that a lot of children are at risk of developing these bad habits at a young age and carry it with them into later adulthood. So, as responsible parents, today, we’ll be learning how you can teach your kids proper dental hygiene and how to cut down their sugar intake.
Sweets Taste Good, But Too Much Is Bad
Nothing beats eating ice cream on a hot summer day or even just eating a tub of it while you go on a movie marathon, but behind these sweet and mesmerizing flavors are the adverse effects of tooth decay and cavities. Especially now, during the holiday season, it’s not an understatement to say that the table will have plenty of sugar-filled options for both Christmas and New Year’s eve.
So, to start the year right, you might want to tell your kids to hold off on all the delish sweets and teach them some self-restraint. Sure, they may test super good now, but in the long-run, these sweet-filled options can very bad for them.
#1 Choose Healthier Meals
One of the easiest ways to cut down your kids’ sugar intake is by simply choosing healthier meals that are naturally sweet but not as sugar-filled as most processed options. Instead of snacking down some candies or binging through desserts every dinner time, go for very fulfilling meals that will keep them full and satisfied.
- Make Fruits A Staple: Too much sugar can cause cavities, but it isn’t advisable to completely cut out sugar from your diet, especially for children who are still developing and growing. However, instead of treating them to cakes and puffed donuts, we strongly recommend introducing them to delicious fruits. From making well-blended smoothies to eating avocado for the first time, fruits can offer the same satiating sweetness at a much healthier serving.
- Nuts As Snacks: Even we adults get the occasional craving for something to crunch on, but instead of relying on chips and crackers to get your fix, we suggest snacking on nuts as a replacement. They’re much more fulfilling, a great source for omega-6 and omega-3 fats, and are jampacked with vitamins. Plus, if you’re able to teach your kids to love nuts over chips, they’ll also get the benefit of a much healthier weight in the long-term.
#2 Integrate Oral Health At An Early Age
Notably, there’s only so much replacement food can do, and unless your kids are already masters at dental hygiene, you must not slack on teaching them about good oral health. Many people have become lax with brushing their teeth, forgetting the importance of mouthwash, and sometimes entirely neglecting their tongue. And, as a responsible parent, you’ll want to integrate and teach your kids the importance of oral health at an early age.
- Don’t Forget To Floss: While floss may seem like an optional part of the dental cleaning process, this is a misconception that many people fall for. A lot of plaque and leftover food can get stuck in between your teeth, and flossing is the only way to remove them. So, don’t forget to teach your kids about flossing.
- Children With Special Healthcare Needs: Some children require extra assistance, and for those with special healthcare needs, teaching and integrating proper dental hygiene will take much more effort. You’ll want to reinforce their good actions, but if you find it very hard to teach, don’t shy away from the professional help of a pediatric dentist.
#3 Set An Example
Lastly, one of the most effective ways of teaching your kids to cut down on their sugar intake and become more disciplined with their dental hygiene is leading by example. You can’t expect them to follow your rules if you hardly follow them yourself, so before you impose anything new or discipline them, do a raincheck on your oral health first.
Overall, we want to remind everyone to love their teeth because having them fall out at an earlier age can be alarming and also troublesome to deal with. So, instead of waiting for the last minute to change, start the kids young, so they don’t have to worry later.
Meta Title: Children’s Dental Health: Fighting Cavities and Reducing Sugar Consumption
Meta Description: Toothaches are considered one of the worst pains imaginable, and the number one reason behind these excruciating pains can be linked to our sugar intake. Keep reading and learn how you can teach your kids to cut down on their sugary sweets.