Tips to Keep Our Children in Good Dental Health | Even During a Pandemic

Over the past several weeks life seems to have hit the proverbial “pause” button for many of us. We are spending more quality time with our partners, spouses and children. While slowing down the pace of our day-to-day lives could be a good thing for mental health, it is equally as important to make sure we are keeping our bodies healthy, both orally and physically. This should be a conscious family effort – with our children at the forefront.
Why is it so important to highlight the kids? Put simply, they are quite easily the second most vulnerable, aside from our elderly age group. Many factors play a part, but one very important reality is they are truly at a “carefree” stage of life. Meaning, they do not understand the seriousness of COVID-19 or the precautions that must be set in place. It is our job as their parents, guardians and healthcare providers, to ensure we do our part to keep them healthy and happy.
We have compiled a list of healthy dental to-do’s to incorporate into your household’s new daily routines:
> Assist with hand washing prior to routine dental care, such as brushing or flossing. It is important to remember this involves touching our faces. A good rule of thumb is to sing your ABC’s twice through before picking up your toothbrush.
> Remember to remind your little ones to brush at least twice a day – preferably in the morning and right before bedtime. These are good times to remove all of the sugar-bugs!
> Flossing is equally important, especially now that we have so much time on our hands. No excuses to forget this healthy habit! Did you know that if you don’t floss you are leaving 35% of your teeth’s surfaces unprotected and susceptible to plaque? 
> Encourage your family to eat a well balanced diet. Quarantine snacking gets the best of all of us from time to time. However, we must hit the brakes and limit our intake of sticky, sugary snacks, like cakes, candies, and cookies. Watch when your children snack; keep it limited; constantly eating and snacking all day can increase your family’s risk for cavities.
> We have attached a link to the American Dental Association’s website (ADA), that has provided us with  for those rainy days when keeping indoors is a must! It is a great reminder for your children and they learn about oral health in a very fun way. These range in difficulty for several age groups. We encourage you to take a look!

Now that we have our mouths healthy, it’s important to get our bodies moving too! We have listed some fun, safe, and physical activities you can do as a family to get everyone off the sofa.
> Plan an “at home” Field Day with both indoor and outdoor activities! Designate a leader and have 6-10 work-stations with engaging projects that are fun for all age groups. Use household items you already have, there is no need to go out and buy supplies! YouTubeis a great source for at-home science projects and organized outdoor games. Additionally, many local school districts are offering fun ideas to keep your children busy. We recommend visiting your child’s school website for more information on what they are offering in your area.
> Create a sidewalk chalk obstacle course in your driveway and have everyone participate. There are many ways to stay active. Each member of the family can come up with something, we are sure of it!
> Go for a walk or a nice bike ride if the weather is pretty. We should get our heart rates up daily. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of play/physical activity for children daily and at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to intensive aerobic activity for adults.
At Colony Square Dental Associates, we take our jobs seriously by keeping our patients well informed of the rapidly changing world around us. For many, we are the only healthcare facility a patient, adult or child alike, visits routinely during the year. Although that may seem surprising, it is not uncommon. And as so many health concerns have been directly linked to one’s oral well-being, we urge our patients, young and mature, to keep healthy from the inside – out. 
Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora would love to hear about how your family has been taking a team approach to health during this time. Feel free to send us pictures or video messages on our Facebook page. We miss all of your smiling faces and would love to hear from you!

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