Why Parents Need to Focus on Their Own Oral Health As Much As Their Children’s
Our children often need the most attention. After all, they can’t brush and floss independently. But if you’re a parent, you know this all too well. Children aren’t the only ones who need to treat their teeth right. We also need to focus on our oral health. Research shows that one in four adults does not brush twice a day, and three out of these four are men! Here are four reasons why parents need to focus on their oral health as much as their children’s.
1. Parents Tend to Spend a Lot of Time Focused On Their Children’s Oral Health, Often Neglecting Themselves
It can be easy to worry about your children’s teeth as a parent. Except for their parents, pediatric dentists are often the first healthcare providers children get to know. During early visits through adolescence, kids typically see their dentists more often than any other doctor. It’s no wonder parents tend to focus on their children’s oral health.
One study found that as people age into adulthood and beyond, they tend to have fewer preventive dental care visits despite actually needing them more. This means that parents should be aware of the example they are setting for their kids by brushing and flossing themselves regularly.
2. Parents Are Responsible for Many of Their Kids’ Dental Care, and It’s Essential to Practice What You Preach
There are many ways parents can set a good example by practicing what they preach. In addition to brushing and flossing twice a day, parents should ensure that their kids get regular dental checkups and that the whole family eats a balanced diet. Involving your children in age-appropriate ways may be helpful. For example, you can let them help you shop for healthy foods at the grocery store.
3. Healthy Teeth Send a Message About a Healthy Diet and Habits
Your oral health habits do not exist in a vacuum. Your kids watch and learn from you, building their habits based on their parents. If you know that your kid will emulate your behaviors as they grow up, then it’s worth taking steps to improve your tooth care habits so that they can follow a healthy example.
The number one thing to remember is that sugar causes cavities. When you eat or drink anything with sugar, bacteria in your mouth convert it into acid, eroding tooth enamel, leading to holes and decay Research shows that one in five Americans has one or more untreated cavities. Sugary foods are the main culprits here, but sugary drinks are also awful for teeth, especially if consumed frequently.
4. The More We Instill Good Dental Hygiene in Our Kids, the More Likely They Will Practice It Themselves As Adults
Parents need to practice what they preach. Our children learn a lot from us, so it only makes sense that we would want to share the best habits with them. When it comes to dental hygiene, we have the opportunity to set an example by taking care of our teeth and gums. If you teach your child that brushing their teeth is essential but never touch a toothbrush yourself, the lesson will be lost on them.
If we want our children to practice good dental hygiene habits and take care of their oral health, leading by example is critical. You don’t have to invent some special ‘parenting toothpaste’ or anything ridiculous.
Parents are responsible for teaching their children proper dental hygiene, but they must also pay attention to their oral health. Research shows that in the United States, dentistry ranks among the top 10 most ethical and trustworthy professions. Perhaps this explains why everyone is at the forefront of preaching about oral health. Your dentist can help you with any problems or concerns you may have and advise how to prevent future problems.