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I Can Handle It

We Don’t Put Enough Focus on Our Teeth at an Early Age

Americans love to smile. It’s one of our defining characteristics. We’re famous for it around the world. And yet, we don’t do nearly enough for our teeth. Many people neglect even the very basic two brushes a day regiment recommended by dentists. Far more people don’t floss or make it to that regular dentist visit every six months.

This is true despite the growing medical consensus that oral health very much translates to overall health. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you’re far more likely to end up with serious medical problems.

Most of us know this. Even if we don’t, we know that ignoring our teeth long-term is sure to lead to pain and expense. Instead of spending five minutes a day brushing our teeth, we resign ourselves to cavities, fillings, pulled teeth, and worse. We throw away our money, our health, and our comfort. Why?

The answer, according to Babylon Dental Care, is because we just aren’t brought up right. In one of their recent postings, Babylon Dental pointed out that the best time to get into good dental hygiene habits are when we’re children. For far too many of us, this was not made a priority by our parents. That means we never got into the habit of brushing in the morning and the evening. We didn’t get used to pulling out the floss and cleaning between our teeth. We didn’t get used to scheduling regular dental appointments. We just didn’t get used to thinking about our teeth at all. Smile all we might, we never thought about protecting that smile long-term because we weren’t taught to at the time we were most receptive to learn.

Habits are hard to break. That’s true for good and bad habits. That’s why we really must put more effort into teaching our children better dental health habits than we ourselves were raised with. I know it can be hard to convince a kid to spend that full two minutes brushing away, but once they learn to do it, they’ll do it for life.

Perhaps the best way to teach them, beyond standing over them and forcing them to do it every day and night, is to model good behavior. That means, we need to put more effort into breaking our own bad habits and building better ones for our children to see.

This is not an idle point. As I said above, good dental health can mean a healthier life altogether. Isn’t that what we want for our children? Isn’t that what we want for ourselves?

To start getting into the right kind of habits, take a moment today (not tomorrow, not next week, do it now) and set up dental appointments for your whole family. Talk to your dentist about the best way to change your dental habits. Get tips. And then, start implementing them.

Once you get those habits in place, you’ll really have something to smile about.

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