When I was a kid, there was a small shoe store in town that gave away gum with each pair of shoes you purchased. The gum was Bazooka Joe and I thought it was so cool that each piece had a little comic strip in the wrapper. The only thing was I was only allowed to chew sugar-free gum and Bazooka Joe was definitely not sugar-free, so I was not allowed to chew it. At the time, that seemed completely unreasonable to me, but looking back I can totally understand why my mom made that rule. (And based n the fact that I don’t have any cavities, I’m going to say it was a good call on my parents’ part!)
In fact, we now have the same rule for LJ. He is allowed to chew gum pretty much whenever he wants (within reason) as long as it is sugar-free gum. In fact, since learning that chewing gum is actually beneficial and can help prevent cavities. I love being able to offer sugar-free gum as a yummy treat instead of candy. I also love that chewing gum stimulates saliva production which can help wash away the bacteria that cause cavities in teeth.
LJ is not a huge mint fan, so we are always in search of gum flavors that he will like. He also loves the Orbit commercials where the British soundly woman asks if you “have a dirty mouth” and then the teeth sparkle after chewing Orbit. You can imagine how excited he was to try Orbit for Kids Strawberry Banana flavored gum. (Of course it is sugar-free!!)
We are thrilled to now have Orbit Gum for Kids as part of our healthy dental hygiene habits. Here are a few of the tips and tricks we’ve used with LJ to keep his teeth in great shape.
- Find a toothpaste in a yummy flavor. Like I mentioned, LJ does not like mint which is the flavor of many toothpastes. We experimented with many different kinds until we found one (watermelon flavored) that he really likes.
- Make flossing a family event. The family that flosses together… I’m not always the best about flossing myself, so I felt a bit hypocritical insisting that LJ floss every night. We decided to floss together as he is getting ready for bed and we both have had a lot less build up when we went for our cleanings.
- We don’t drink soda on a regular basis. There are so many reasons why soda is not a good beverage choice – even diet soda – so we have made it a policy to make other choices even when we are eating out and I know our teeth are grateful.
- Replace sugary treats with a yummy flavored sugar-free gum. LJ went bananas over the Orbit Strawberry Banana flavored gum.
What are some of the ways you get your kids excited about taking care of their teeth? Any tips or tricks??