Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keeping Smiles Bright With Trident

Tooth decay has become the most chronic childhood disease in America. Many parents struggle with ways to help their children take care of their teeth.  Not only do children see brushing their teeth as a chore, they also dread the dentist. Any of you with children will know the dreaded scream that goes along with telling your kids about a dental appointment. Have you ever tried to avoid telling your kids about an upcoming appointment, or more often, bribing them with a treat afterwards to get them to go?! What's worse is that if your children brushed and flossed regularly, the dentist might not be such a scary place. We've all tried the fun flavored toothpastes, the character toothbrushes or the tablets that make the plaque bright blue. Here's another trick you might not know about!

Chewing Trident Sugar-free Gum has been shown to help fight cavities when chewed after meals!! Trident contains a sugar-free sweetener called Xylitol that has been know to loosen plaque from teeth! How cool is that?! Trident comes in 11 great flavors too, so your kids are bound to find at least one they love!  The flavors are Original Flavor, Bubble Gum, Spearmint, Tropical Twist, Watermelon Twist, Wild Blueberry Twist, Minty Sweet Twist, Passionberry Twist, Wintergreen, Strawberry Twist and Cinnamon. (My favorite is the Original. It's a very mild mint that tastes great and freshens breath without that harsh, super-cold mint sensation that turns some kids off.) Most kids I know love chewing gum, so if you get them a flavor they love, I bet they won't argue. You don't even have to tell them that it's to help their teeth! Let it be your little secret!

Trident understands how important dental health. With tooth decay affecting half of the 2nd graders in the U.S. and 80% of 17-year-olds, it has truly become an epidemic. Trident has even paired up with Smiles Across America to bring dental care to underprivileged youth in the U.S. There are so many kids without dental coverage in the nation today and they are suffering because of it. Trident is doing a huge part to help and  I'm really impressed with their commitment to the cause.

Here are five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright.

-  Make brushing teeth an important part of your routine, both morning and night! Do it together with your kids and you'll both benefit from the time together and the oral health!! By brushing and flossing with your kids, you'll be able to show them the right way to do it. Many kids do not spend enough time brushing and don't realize they aren't doing the best for their teeth. (And if your kids are going to bed much earlier than you are, you'll get another brushing in and brushing three times a day has to be better than two!!)

- Floss!! I'm really bad about this one too. But by making certain you floss daily, you'll be showing a good example to your kids. (I keep a container of floss on my counter to remind me, but I still forget atleast once a week.) Try the mint or cinnamon flavored floss for a treat. Flossing with mint floss really helps to freshen my breath and give me that super-clean feeling I love. (If your kids find it awkward using plain floss, try the flossers. They are a little easier to manage and work great. These also come mint-flavored!)

- Compliment your child's smile after they brush. Tell them how sparkly white it looks! Or how fresh their breath smells! This positive reinforcement can't hurt and it might persuade them to be more cooperative about it! Plus who doesn't love to see their children smile?!

- Schedule regular dental check-ups (twice a year). Sometimes mentioning the word "Dentist" makes children cringe, but remind them that keeping up with their brushing and flossing everyday helps make going to the dentist much easier! (And the dentists I know let kids choose a prize whether they have cavities or not!!) I'm also not opposed to a little treat after an appointment, but try not to make it a sugary treat. Don't undo all of what the dentist has done with ice cream or candy! Maybe offer to take your child to the book store to pick out a new book, or to take them to that new park they've been dying to check out.

- Remember, healthy diets also help keep teeth strong. Iron and calcium rich foods will help with dental hygiene as well. Drinking milk or eating yogurt is a wonderful way to help strengthen teeth. Whole grains have Vitamin B and Iron which are good for your gums. I've read that sugar partners with plaque to eat at your teeth. So make sure that when indulging in sweet or sugary foods, you remember to brush afterwards! Don't let those sugars hang out in there too long! (And if you can't get to a toothbrush, chew a piece of Trident!!)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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