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Dental Profession

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Dental Health

Discover the best New Year’s resolutions for your child’s dental health. Learn how to keep their smiles bright and healthy in the coming year.

As a parent, it’s crucial to set your kids’ dental health resolutions for the New Year to ensure their smiles stay bright and healthy. In this article, we’ll explore some simple yet effective goals to keep their teeth in top shape.

Welcome to 2024!

As 2024 quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. And a big part of that should be making plans for your child’s oral health.

At Thumbsie®, we are big believers in setting dental health resolutions for kids, whether that be improving toothbrushing techniques, developing a child-friendly diet for dental health or improving oral hygiene.

By now, we all know that oral health is vital for overall health and well-being. Yet, sadly, there is still a high prevalence of dental issues among young children.

Preventive care is so important, and one of the best ways to focus on this is to set clear goals for your child’s dental care. Let’s make 2024 the year for improved oral health!

Carry on reading to see our suggestions for kids’ dental health resolutions that your children can adopt in 2024.

Regular dental check-ups

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems is to commit to regular dental check-ups. We strongly recommend that your child sees a dentist twice a year. We also recommend that you do too. It’s important for parents to set a good example!

Of course, we appreciate that it can be difficult to find a dentist but remember that dental treatment is free of charge for all under 18s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also free for all under 26s in Scotland.

The impact that professional cleanings and dental checks can have on children’s teeth is incredible. And the more a child visits a dentist, the less likely they are to develop long-term dental problems.

Daily toothbrushing and flossing

Another New Year’s resolution could be setting a daily toothbrushing and flossing routine – and sticking to it. Children thrive on routine, so if they get into a pattern of brushing their teeth at the same time each day, they will greatly benefit.

It’s important to show that brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be a chore. We recommend parents brush their teeth with their child to model good brushing. You can play music while you brush, and of course you can buy all kinds of fun toothbrushes with designs in line with your child’s interests: a favourite superhero or cartoon character for example.

Flossing is equally important. You can buy child friendly flossers which are designed for children’s smaller mouths. And why not set up a reward system? If your child successfully flosses every night for a week, they could get a prize – a favourite game or toy, for example.

Balanced diet and limiting sugar

Sugar, sugar, sugar! It tastes delicious but causes so many problems. At Thumbsie, we strongly recommend limiting a child’s sugar intake. This is, of course, backed up by all dentists.

It’s not just food, make sure that your child doesn’t have too many fizzy drinks either. These can often be absolutely full of sugar. A balanced diet leads to stronger teeth and gums – and your child’s dentist will definitely thank you!

You can buy many sugar-free products these days, such as sugar-free jelly. But of course, one of the best alternative snacks – full of healthy sugars – are berries, apples, oranges and other fruits. We are also big fans of nuts, such as almonds or walnuts.

Fluoride and sealants

Making sure your child’s toothpaste includes fluoride is an important piece of the oral health puzzle.  Fluoride reverses early decay and remineralizes your tooth enamel, and it helps protect teeth against those dreaded sugars we were just discussing.

As well as discussing fluoride products with your child’s dentist, you should also think about dental sealants. These are thin, plastic coatings which are painted on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent tooth decay. Sealants help to protect vulnerable areas of the mouth from decay by blocking out plaque and tiny particles of food.

Teach proper technique

Children need to be taught how to brush properly. It wouldn’t be fair to just hand them a brush and assume they’ll know what to do. Show your child how to floss properly and do it with them. It can be a fun routine before bed.

If you, as a parent, aren’t sure how to floss properly there are a number of videos on YouTube you can watch.

And why not share the 2-2-2 rule for toothbrushing with your children?

What does 2-2-2 mean? It’s simple: brush for two minutes, twice a day, and visit the dentist twice a year.

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Addressing thumb sucking

A problem which often leads to poor oral health is thumb sucking. For many years, Thumbsie® have been on the frontline seeing the damage to a child’s dental development caused by sucking their thumb or fingers.

Long-term thumb sucking can lead to misaligned teeth, serious jaw problems and overbites, among other issues.

While thumb sucking can be distressing, there are solutions. Positive reinforcement is important, as is praise and setting up a reward system. One of the best ways to stop thumb sucking is by using a Thumbsie. They are fun, designed to be worn for school and playtime, and most importantly they work.

2024 could be the year your child learns to love their Thumbsie®.

Final Thoughts 

It can be hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions, but that is usually because some resolutions aim too high or are seen as unachievable. We believe all the suggestions we’ve made are easy to follow and will make a real difference to your child’s oral health.

By encouraging regular dental check-ups, setting a good toothbrushing and flossing routine, limiting sugar and addressing thumb sucking, 2024 can be a really positive year for your child’s dental development.

Now that you have the essential New Year’s resolutions for your child’s dental health, take the first step towards a brighter smile with Thumbsie! Share these resolutions with fellow parents, spreading awareness about the importance of children’s oral care.  Don’t wait – reach out to a local paediatric dentist or clinic today to schedule your child’s next dental appointment. Start 2024 with a commitment to your child’s oral health – they’ll thank you with those beautiful, healthy teeth!

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