When it comes to kids’ health, it seems like most of the information is directed toward moms. It is assumed that moms handle most of the health-related tasks, such as scheduling appointments, preparing food, and managing day-to-day wellness. But we recognize that dads do a lot of unacknowledged and unappreciated work. This Father’s Day, we salute the amazing dads who are doing so much to ensure that their kids enjoy good oral and physical health.
At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we provide compassionate pediatric dentistry, and we want to make sure that oral health is a positive experience for everyone in the family. As a dad himself, Dr. Matt understands the important role that fathers play in their kids’ health. He can explain how best to fill this role and answer any questions you may have.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.
Involved Dads Promote Better Health
Increasingly, health and sociology experts are becoming more aware of the role that dads play in their kids’ overall wellness. In part, this is due to widespread social trends. For instance, between 2003 and 2007, the number of stay-at-home dads increased by 60%. The majority of stay-at-home parents are still moms. Nonetheless, this number is not insignificant and indicates the importance of fatherhood and its role in child health and development.
Further, one study showed that 30% of moms reported that their child’s father had a positive impact on their children’s oral health. This impact came primarily because dads actively performed dental hygiene for their children, and they promoted a tooth-health diet.
The Power of Example
Any parent knows that kids imitate everything. Although this can be an intimidating thought, it’s actually great when it comes to dental care. When a child sees his dad brushing his teeth, the youngster is more likely to brush his own teeth. And if a little girl sees her daddy going to the dentist, she’s more likely to accept dental visits as a routine part of life.
One unique opportunity for dads involves dental phobia. Very often, dads feel compelled to display fearlessness in front of their children. And if a child expresses fear of the dentist, there’s a temptation to dismiss their anxieties or tell them there’s nothing to be afraid of. What if you let your child know that you feel nervous sometimes, too? Whether you suffer from dental anxiety yourself, or your anxiety comes at other times, when kids see that dads face up to their own fears, it can be an inspiring and lifelong example of courage.
The Role of Diet and Nutrition
Dads are increasingly spending more time in the kitchen, and their food choices can have a tremendous impact on their kids’ dental health. Of course, there are certain notorious causes of cavities (such as candy), but any carbohydrate can lead to tooth decay, especially refined or processed carbs. A balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat can dramatically reduce the risk of cavities. And, of course, some treats are appropriate in moderation.
Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids
Happy Father’s Day! Are you ready to schedule an appointment for your child? Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.
Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.