SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

February 02, 2015 10:00 ET

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Child Is a Lasting Smile

:DentalPlans Recommends Healthy Habits, Makes Donation for National Children's Dental Health Month

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - February 02, 2015) - February is National Children's Dental Health Month. Part of any parents' job is to teach their children how to lead healthy lives. The best time to start teaching these life lessons to children is when they are young, before unhealthy habits form. This is true of teaching your children about good oral hygiene as well.

In fact, parents who make regular visits to the dentist are more likely to take their children to the dentist. According to the National Health Interview Study, about 86 percent of children whose parents had a dental visit during the preceding year had a dental exam, compared to about 63 percent of the children whose parents hadn't. Which is why industry experts recommend strategies to promote oral health should focus on the whole family.

"Children emulate their parents in many ways, including their oral hygiene habits," states Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "With proper care, regular dental visits, and a healthy diet, teeth can last a lifetime. A healthy smile is important to a child's speech development, eating and chewing, and self esteem, so starting a healthy oral routine early is extremely important. Proper oral care for adults also has numerous health, social, and even work benefits."

In honor of the month, :DentalPlans has also partnered with Angel Backpack to donate and distribute nearly 400 :DP SmileBackpacks™ full of oral health and hygiene products to students at Charles R. Drew Visual and Preforming Arts School, located at 1775 NW 60th Street, Miami, Florida 33142, on Feb. 27.

To help give your child a lasting smile, the experts at :DentalPlans offer the following recommendations.

Start early. Tooth decay is preventable, so start brushing your child's teeth as soon as they appear, typically around age six months. Parents should brush their child's teeth twice a day until they are comfortable they can do it themselves. For children younger than 3, use a fluoride toothpaste in the amount the size of a grain of rice, for ages 3 to 6 years, the size of a pea. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should start flossing their teeth daily as well. Have your children watch you brush and floss, a child's good oral habits form from watching their parents.

Meet the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends your child's first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, or before a child's first birthday. The dentist will examine your child's mouth and check growth and development. The first visit will also help your child become comfortable visiting the dentist. Allowing your child to come with you for your annual checkup may be a good way to calm any fears or anxiety a child may have about visiting the dentist.

Keep it healthy. Children need healthy teeth to eat their food, speak, and have a healthy smile. Even milk and vegetables have sugars in them that can contribute to tooth decay. But parents can help control the amount of sugars their children consume by reading labels and choosing food and beverages low in sugar. Water is a great beverage that helps contribute to good nutrition. According to MyPlate, a website by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, a balanced diet includes fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and lean proteins like poultry and fish, eggs, beans, and lean beef.

"For parents that find themselves without dental coverage for their family, dental savings plans could save them a lot of money," adds Chase. "For example, a family of four using the Careington Care 500 Series plan, which costs a low annual fee of $189.95, a family of four could save $704 on their annual ADA recommended treatments alone. That's $514 in savings, when including the cost of the plan. And the savings can really add up when considering additional dental care that may be needed for you and your family, like sealants for children's teeth, crowns, braces, and more."

About :DentalPlans
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is the largest dental savings plan marketplace in the U.S., offering consumers access to 40+ dental savings plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE. Plan members have access to more than 100,000 dentists nationwide.

:DentalPlans, which has been included in the INC. 5000 list for three years standing, is committed to making you smile by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and available to everyone. Visit us at www.dentalplans.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dentalplans

Editors Note: Photos will be available from the SmileBackpack distribution on Feb. 27. Please contact Melissa or Kelly for pictures or to attend the event.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Melissa Watkins 
    Public Relations Counsel 
    Office: 804-402-5316 
    pr@dentalplans.com 

    Kelly Cioe
    Public Relations Counsel
    Office: 603-436-2347
    Kelly@whalenpr.com