This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others.
We at Bernstein Orthodontics feel it is important to shine a light on children’s dental health because we know that establishing proper attitudes and habits at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life. Each week in the month of February, we want to assist parents, caregivers, and teachers by providing helpful tips to ensure that the children in their lives are keeping their smiles beautiful and healthy now and for years to come.
This week we are focusing on the benefits of drinking water and how it can help children maintain a healthy smile.
There are a lot of reasons water is good for a child’s overall health, but here a few reasons it benefits their oral health. Water washes away sugars and acids that may be left on children’s teeth. Water can also prevent staining from other food and drinks. When possible, drinking tap water that contains fluoride can help strengthen children’s teeth and could keep them from unwanted cavities.
While all of those reasons are important, the most important part may be figuring out how to get your child to actually drink the water! When it comes to beverages, with all of the other sugar-filled options that are marketed to children, it’s no wonder that it’s often a challenge when trying to get them to drink water.
Here are a few ways that can help you encourage your child to drink more water:
Let your child pick out a fun water bottle or reusable cup that is their very own. Children are more apt to carry water with them to school or other activities if they are excited about their bottle or cup. Let them know that this bottle/cup is special and only for drinking water.
Make a sticker chart with daily or weekly water goals. Let them put a sticker up for each day that they meet that goal. If they meet their water goal for the entire month, reward them with a special toy, family outing or another incentive. Preferably one that encourages and reinforces healthy choices.
And finally, always lead by example! As the adults in their lives, it is important that you show children the importance of drinking water by doing so yourself. Try replacing 1-2 of your usual daily drinks of choice with water instead.
Until next time, happy hydrating!