Kid's oral healthcare, similar to speaking and reading, begins with parents pointing them in the right direction. Starting a serious path to better oral health is often a group effort, one that includes an understanding of why it's important to kids and how it can be achieved by parents.

A number of studies have found that poor oral health habits can have a negative affect on other areas of life such as eating, speaking and self-confidence.

"Each year, more than 51 million hours of school instruction are lost due to dental-related illness. Parents play a key role in setting up a daily routine that illustrates the importance of taking care of your teeth," said Marsha Butler, Vice President of Oral Care and leader of Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Futures initiative in a recent USA Today article.

How can you begin this development?

For starters, understand the importance of observation and mimicking, especially in children that are on the younger side. Have your little one watch your nighttime routine, including teeth brushing and oral care. If your child isn't interested at first, try making it more interesting with a story or song to pass the time.

Introduce flossing early. No, don't let your three-year-old floss, but do show them how you do. Around the age of four, take the time to floss your child's teeth. Flossing the teeth can help eliminate serious periodontal diseases such as gingivitis. By age eight, most kids can begin flossing on their own.

Finally, schedule an appointment with a trusted orthodontist. Many children require braces to eliminate serious issues in the mouth. By tackling these issues early on, such as crowding of the teeth or large gaps, overall health can be improved.

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