More than just brushing: 4 ways to start a lifetime of healthy teeth

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks dental decay as the most common chronic disease in youth ages 5 and 17

Teaching dental hygiene starts early — as soon as the first tooth comes in. Just because older kids are able to brush by themselves does not mean they don’t need a reminder about the importance of good dental hygiene

Experts recommend parents pay close attention to what kids and teens are eating, and reinforce these four good dental hygiene practices

Health tips for the family

Visit Kohl’s Cares High Five Program for tips on what parents can do to keep their children healthy, safe and out of the hospital.

  • The “other” teen drinking problem: soda and sugary drinks. The acid and sugar in soda and other sweetened beverages can erode enamel and cause cavities. Drinking water is best. Encourage tap water, as it contains fluoride that helps strengthen teeth.
  • Brushing and flossing are key. We all know the importance of brushing and flossing, but with the independence that comes with being a teen, it is a good idea to ensure your teen is keeping up with routine dental hygiene.
  • Teach teens to schedule and maintain their own dental visit calendar. Regular six-month checkups should be part of everyone’s routine. It’s especially important for teens to take ownership of this responsibility, as they are more likely to continue the habit when they’re completely independent.
  • Focus on fresh snack options. Snacking is a big part of a teen’s life. Much of their time is spent on the go from one activity to the next. Ensure that nutritious snacks such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and yogurt are available

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