As a busy parent, you’ve probably that twinge of guilt or self-doubt just before your child’s dental appointment. A clean bill of oral health reflects well on you, just as every cavity underscores a flaw in your parental vigilance. Ultimately, the health of your child’s smile depends on him or her, but you have a responsibility to guide them toward healthier habits. You have the power to change your family’s oral health for the better by following these two simple steps:
Be a Grocery Shopping Guru
Sure, kids do grab snacks and meals at school, at the convenience store, or at the drive-thru, but ounce for ounce, your children eat more foods that come from home. This means one thing: whoever buys the groceries, controls what the family eats. Since you are probably the one stocking the pantry and fridge, buying healthy, whole foods and eschewing refined foods with added sugars is the best way to control their access to foods that could harm their oral health. Remember these four rules the next time you go grocery shopping:
- Shop the periphery. Do most of your shopping in the margins of the store, where you find the produce, meat, and dairy sections.
- Skip the drink aisle. Bottled juices, sports drinks, bottled tea, and sodas are tasty but they’re also packed with sugar (remember, oral bacteria don’t differentiate between natural fruit sugar and corn syrup). Stick to water and save your money.
- Snack smart. Kids and teens thrive on snacks, and eating healthier doesn’t mean giving up snacks. Try simple swaps, like buying string cheese instead of sweetened yogurt cups or baby carrots instead of raisins. Nut mixes and natural beef jerky are also good snacking options.
- Spend your impulse dollars in the dental aisle. It’s fun to stray from your list just a bit, splurging on something that you don’t really need but you really, really want. Often, these impulse buys tend to be new flavors of sweetened “vitamin” water or a favorite candy bar. If that extra couple of bucks is burning a hole in your pocket, indulge in a fun, new flavor of toothpaste, fun-shaped flossers, or electric toothbrush.
About Your Reno Dentists
Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment at our Reno family dentist office today by calling (775) 829-7700.Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities.