Ensure Your Tween Maintains Good Oral Care
In between a child and a teenager, your tween may be beginning to show a move toward independence. These preadolescent years, between the ages of 10-13 children begin to have a more developed sense of the future and the effects of their actions today. This makes it a great time to emphasize healthy oral care habits.
Tweens and teens can be tough on their teeth. They may be so busy with school activities, afterschool clubs, athletics and other social events that they may forget to brush their teeth. In fact, one survey found that one in four American parents say that their kids do a “fair” to “poor” job of taking care of their own mouth, teeth and gums. Tweens and teens may also have a “sweet tooth” and eat sugary snacks or drink sodas. This combination can lead to dental decay.
Tooth decay is recognized as the most common chronic disease affecting children in the United States. 51 million hours of school are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses. Poor oral hygiene is not only a health issue; it can also lead to decreased self-esteem and confidence.
Crest® and Oral-B®, two leaders in dental health, have introduced Pro-Health For Me™, the first and only complete line of oral care products for tweens. Kelly Heaps, Brand Manager for Proctor and Gamble (the parent company of both Crest and Oral-B), says “We created (ProHealth For Me) with the goal of providing tweens with all the oral care protection their parents want, but in flavors and packaging designed just for them.”
The Pro-Health For Me product line includes:
• Oral-B Pulsar™ Pro-Health FOR ME Vibrating Toothbrush:Features gentle vibrating bristles that help break up plaque between teeth for a deep clean and a pressure-sensitive split head that adjusts to the contours of kids’ teeth.
• Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME CrossAction Toothbrush: Features a combination of CrissCross® bristles and a Power Tip® to effectively reach and clean between the sensitive gaps kids’ 8-12 experience.
• Crest Pro-Health FOR ME Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste: Helps fight cavities, strengthens enamel and freshens breath, in a tween-approved Minty Breeze flavor.
• Crest Pro-Health FOR ME Anticavity Fluoride Rinse: Reaches areas where children may have missed brushing and helps fight cavities for healthy teeth, all without the burn of alcohol.
• Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME Floss Picks: Easy to use for a more complete clean vs. brushing alone.
In addition, to help kids learn more about proper tooth brushing habits, Crest and Oral-B have created “Yuck Mouth,” an online game that can be downloaded for free for both iPhone and Android.
Dr. Jennifer Salzer, orthodontist and dentist and mother of a tween herself, offers the following tips to parents for encouraging good oral care for their children:
• Offer choices that your child will be excited to use and place them in easy reach so they can use when they are in a hurry.
• Encourage oral hygiene by reminding your child how it will promote a healthy smile that they can be proud of
• Set a good example. If your kids see that you take care of your teeth, it will reinforce good oral hygiene habits.
• Ensure a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit access to simple carbohydrates and sugars – both of which are significantly associated with increased risk of tooth decay.