What are the most valuable gifts you can bestow on your children?

Well, they are ‘things’ that will certainly improve the quality of their lives! So obviously, they are education, love, instilling self-confidence, a good diet, teaching personal hygiene etc.

Graduation: Proud Family Admires Diploma
Child becoming an adult

However, there is one quality that alas, many people, particularly in this country, might not pay as much attention to as they should…… excellent dental health. But here are some reasons why you should place higher priority on dental health:

  • Children that get to eighteen years old with no or almost no cavities will most likely end up as adults without fillings , root canal treatments , crowns and probably extractions.
  • They are the ones who are most likely to keep their own teeth for life .
  • They will need to have the least amount of invasive and reparative or reconstructive dentistry throughout their lives .
  • They will end up needing to spend the least amount of time and money on dentistry throughout their lives.

How do you replicate the ‘picture’ of the typical late teenager who has beautiful clean healthy teeth, with no cavities, no gum disease and no bad breath for your child?

That young adult will have :

  • Been taken to a good dentist regularly every six months for checkups and hygiene.
  • No fear of dental care, dentistry or dentists.
  • Getting into the routine of excellent personal home dental hygiene twice a day every day so doing it properly and regularly has become automatic and, therefore, will prevent plaque buildup.
  • Most likely have completed a course of orthodontics, should their teeth have been crooked that would have caused aesthetic or functional problems had they not been treated.
  • A high degree of self-confidence and self-pride in their smile and have permanent fresh breath.
  • Almost certainly an appreciation for the efforts, time and even money, their parents will have invested in their dental health and appearance.
  • Become an adult that values their teeth and respects good dental care and the dental professionals that provide it.
Mother and daughter
Teaching your child Dental Hygiene

So as a parent, if you create the right attitude, a good example, teach your children the benefits and the routine of excellent dental hygiene, feed them a healthy sensible diet and have them visit a good dentist regularly … while they are still under your influence and care, you will set them up dentally for life. If you don’t, those kids may have a mouthful of fillings, poor oral hygiene and often, teeth and a smile they don’t particularly like or may even hide. Such a child can grow into an adult who attends for dental treatment on a ‘crisis management basis only (when they experience pain) and if they then want to keep their teeth healthy, functional and aesthetic for life, has to learn the hard and expensive way.

You can’t imagine how many times I have heard adults say to me when they are about to undertake an extensive and expensive course of reparative dentistry that their parents didn’t really take them regularly to the dentist as children. Or, that their fear and anxiety were caused by a painful memory of traumatic dentistry, more often than not as a result of having extensive fillings, if not extractions as a child…….all completely preventable.

Just remember, you may have a fair amount of dentistry in your own mouth, your parents may have had to spend a fortune in time and money trying to keep their teeth for life, your grandparents may have expected to lose their teeth at forty, done so and are struggling with dentures. But …. Your children can grow up without any of that.

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