Parenting can sometimes feel like an uphill marathon, particularly when it comes to enforcing proper oral care habits with your child. According to a recent national survey from Delta Dental, parents are more likely to say getting their child to floss regularly (45 percent) or brush their teeth (37 percent) is challenging than they are about getting their child to make the bed (30 percent) or to complete homework on time (25 percent).
The Children’s Oral Health Survey indicates that many of our nation’s offspring are not following recommended guidelines of brushing their teeth for two minutes twice daily and flossing once a day, potentially leading to oral health problems. The majority of parents (78 percent) confess that their child’s oral health isn’t as good as it could be, with 64 percent disclosing that their child currently has oral health issues, including cavities (31 percent).
Child’s oral health on parents’ radar
Concerned with raising a happy and healthy child, what is top of mind with parents? The Delta Dental survey reveals that parents worry more about their child’s oral health (39 percent) on a daily basis than they do about school performance (25 percent) or physical activity (24 percent).
In fact, parents are more likely to say their child’s oral health (73 percent) is extremely important than they are about their youngster’s diet or nutrition (66 percent) and even their own oral health (61 percent).
“In the national survey from Delta Dental, parents share that their child’s oral health is a priority over their own,” said Joe Dill, DDS, MBA, Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of dental science. “Let’s turn that concern inward. By showing our children we value our own healthy smile, we can help them to develop positive attitudes toward preventive oral care practices that can impact a lifetime.”
Back-to-school dental screenings
Dr. Dill also reminds parents that the new school year is fast approaching and several states mandate dental screening certificates for children to be enrolled in school.
He also recommends scheduling regular dental check-ups as a part of a child’s preventive oral health routine to protect against missing school during the academic year for unplanned visits to the dentist’s chair.
According to the Delta Dental survey, 29 percent of parents whose child is in school say that their daughter or son has missed at least some school in the past 12 months because of an oral health issue.
Convenience at your fingertips
Parents can help keep their child’s oral health on track with the free Delta Dental Mobile app featuring a toothbrush timer.
“Busy parents will appreciate the simplicity and convenience of the Delta Dental Mobile app,” said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association. “Scheduling needs can be addressed 24/7. You can quickly find an eligible dentist, access your dental claims, or search for typical costs of popular dental treatments and procedures. Plus, features like the toothbrush timer help make it easier to get children to brush their teeth, which the Delta Dental survey shows is one of the most challenging things to get a child to do.”
Delta Dental Mobile is optimized for iOS and Android devices (smartphones and tablets) and is available for download in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android devices. To learn more, search for Delta Dental in the app store.