Now is the Perfect Time to Teach Kids About Hygiene

The spread of COVID-19 or Coronavirus has caused a lot of disruption, but it is also a good opportunity to teach kids about the importance of good hygiene–and that includes oral hygiene.

Mounting evidence suggests that taking care of your teeth and gums is essential to prevent the spread of disease throughout the body as well as to those around you. Since children have had several weeks of reminders to wash their hands to avoid getting sick, make a lasting impression about the importance of oral health to help them establish good hygiene habits that they will stick with for life!

Here are some points from the renowned Mayo Clinic to share with children and actionable ways to improve oral health and prevent the spread of disease:

  1. Your mouth is full of germs and bacteria (some good, some bad) that not only cause tooth decay and gum disease, but can also travel to your digestive system and lungs. (In fact, some hospitals have found that when they require patients to brush two times each day, cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia were reduced significantly.)

    Regular brushing removes germs from the mouth that otherwise could be inhaled into the lungs, causing infections that can be deadly!

  2. When we become sick–whether with COVID-19, the flu, a cough or seasonal allergies–and take over-the-counter medications, the decongestants and antihistamines that help clear up a stuffy nose can also reduce saliva flow. That means your mouth will have a harder time washing away the bacteria, germs, and acids that cause tooth decay or make you even more sick!

    It’s important to keep up your brushing and flossing especially when you don’t feel well. Flossing is especially important because it cleans out bacteria from the places they use to hide from your toothbrush! To learn how to make flossing a daily habit, click here.

  3. A healthy diet is important to have a strong body and a healthy smile. Good nutrition helps you fight off illnesses. It’s also important to remember that germs love sugar! The more sugar they get, the more they grow. That means more cavities and a harder time fighting off the nasties when you get sick.

    For more information about foods that are healthy for your teeth and your body, click here.

  4. It’s important to replace your toothbrush every three months and after you’ve been sick because they can harbor the germs that made you sick and make you sick again!

Good hygiene isn’t only important when there is a scary virus going around. It’s something we should practice every day by washing our hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, brushing for 2 minutes 2 times every day, and flossing one time each day. Use a mouth rinse to help kill germs on the soft tissue in your mouth. Healthy daily hygiene habits not only help us have healthier smiles but also help us live healthier lives!

Looking for activities for the kids while they’re home from school? Check out these fun ways to teach kids about oral health!

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