When it comes to my teeth, I’m pretty strict when it comes to my routine. When I was younger, I got into a lot of bad habits around not brushing them as thoroughly as I should, not flossing and eating a lot of sugary foods. Throughout both my pregnancies I had a lot of trouble with bleeding gums.
I had a lot of work done in my early 20s put things right and I’ve made sure to be good to my teeth ever since. Now I have young children, I’m determined to get them into good habits too.
The right tools for the job
I ditched manual toothbrushes a while ago and now use a Sonicare. I don’t feel like my teeth are really clean if I need to use a manual toothbrush now. I also invest in a water flosser, but found that I didn’t really like it and have switched back to expanding dental floss.
I also used to use mouthwash straight after brushing, but after a right telling off from my dentist about this, I now use it later in the day if I need a bit of a refresh.
Chewing sugar free gum
I always carry chewing gum around with me. It makes me feel a little more confident when talking to people knowing my breath is fresh. But there are a lot of other oral health benefits to chewing sugar-free gum too. First of all, it helps to clear your mouth of plaque acids by increasing the amount of saliva you have. It’s also been proven that chewing sugar-free gums can help with stress and help you concentrate. It can also stop you from snacking throughout the day, which is great for weight management.
Getting my kids into good habits
Alex and Ava couldn’t be more different when it comes to brushing their teeth. Ava can’t even see a toothbrush without demanding her teeth brushed, whereas Alex also needs to be pinned down. With him, I’ve had every children’s TV character themed toothbrush, YouTube video and even resorted to outright bribery. He’s beginning to improve now though as he’s getting a bit older and enjoys the freedom to be able to brush his teeth himself. His nursery has also been really good at reinforcing the message. Early last year they ran a six-week program to teach the kids about the importance of brushing their teeth.
I do worry about their teeth, especially since they both love fruit, which is great for their overall health but not their tooth enamel.
- Get them into a routine – as, with everything with kids, routines can take some of the stress out of daily life. Believe me, I learned this the hard way.
- Find resources to help you – there are many books or YouTube videos that are great for encouraging children to brush their teeth.
- Take them to a dentist regularly – being comfortable at the dentist will help prevent them from developing a phobia as they get older.
- Get creative -in the end, it was a Lightning McQueen toothbrush that helped us get Alex comfortable with brushing his teeth. It was a little more expensive but stopped the daily tantrums. I have friends who have used reward charts with a lot of success.
- Water is your friend – as kids can’t chew gum to help them after meals, encouraging them to drink water is a great way to wash away any remaining sugars and acids.