Smile! Capturing moments in time through photography and film often includes big grins and showing off those pearly whites. Teeth are crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, and the earlier adults instill good habits into their children the easier maintaining strong ones are for life. Teeth help us eat so we can take in all the important nutrients our children need, and visiting the dentist regularly over the course of a lifetime can keep people healthy. Sometimes dentists can identify diseases early and help us take care of other parts of the body as well. Since May is National Dental Care Month, it is a perfect time to learn more about our chompers.
Here are some fun facts about the hardest part of the body!
- Every tooth is unique! Like fingerprints, teeth are unique to each individual.
- Mummies from Egypt have been found with rudimentary forms of braces with metal wires wrapped around their teeth.
- People spend about 39 days of their life taking care of their teeth. That’s over a month!
- Like how most of the iceberg is underwater, most of your teeth are beneath your gums.
- Because humans are omnivores – which means we can eat plants and meat – we have four kinds of teeth: incisors, premolars, molars, and canines.
Want some tips to encourage your kids to take good care of their teeth? Here are some of our favorites:
- Make a sticker chart. Stickers are a great motivator, as many teachers for decades would testify. Create a chart for the month with flossing and brushing and the days of the week. Every day the kid brushes and floss appropriately, they get to put a sticker on their chart. These tools can be especially helpful for kids who enjoy visuals, and like to see results.
- Let them make choices. Kids don’t always make the same choices adults would, going for funky color combinations or weird flavors, but allowing them to make select choices can help them feel empowered to be responsible. Allowing them to pick out the color of their toothbrush, the flavor of toothpaste, or even the color and flavor of their floss will encourage them to use their hand-selected tools to keep their teeth clean.
- Write and record a brushing song. There are many 2 minute songs that can help young people brush their teeth for the right length of time, but it could be more fun to sit down as a family and write something original. You can even reuse a tune to a song or nursery rhyme, so long as it fulfills the two minutes required for a good brushing. Come up with some clever words and rhymes and let the kids record the song on a phone, computer, or tablet. Then, play it during the bedtime routine, and rock out to your family’s first hit single!
A clean mouth contributes to overall wellness, and taking care of them as children lays the foundation for long-term results. Appreciating how cool teeth are, as well as developing routines to make care easy sets little ones up for success for the rest of their lives.
By: Bethany Verrett