Teaching your child proper dental hygiene habits from a young age guarantees good oral health for life. Taking your child to see a dentist regularly from the youngest age possible is the best way to do this, so they do not develop a fear of getting a dental check-up. Experts show them how, when, and how long to brush properly.
Dentists have a special routine for cleaning and examining children’s teeth that makes them feel comfortable. They show them how to professionally clean in a way they can best understand.
Here are five ways that parents and guardians can easily introduce children to caring for their teeth and help them look after their dental health for life:
- Encourage Kids To Drink Water
Oral Health America’s 2017 campaign focused on encouraging children to drink tap water for a sparkling smile — water is a healthy choice for teeth, as it does not cause tooth decay like sugary soda and acidic juice. Juice seems like a healthy option, but unfortunately is not, as it often contains a lot of added sugar, which contributes to child tooth decay.
- Limit Sugar
Tooth decay in children is incredibly common due to high amounts of sugar, thus try to limit candy, juice, and too much fruit, and make sure to drink water after the occasional sugary treat.
It is proven that disease in primary teeth means there is increased risk of disease in permanent teeth, which can result in long-term maintenance issues for life. Toothache and dental work needed to correct tooth decay leads to kids missing school and parents who need to take time out of work to care for sick children. This impacts on the kid’s education and the whole family.
- Two Minutes, Twice a Day
This simple rule is the one to follow for great tooth brushing. Equip your children with small-headed toothbrushes, which have gentle bristles for primary teeth and are just the right size for small teeth. Make sure the whole family is using a fluoride toothpaste. There are plenty of fun ways to encourage tooth brushing, like brush timers and reward charts, which positively reinforce good brushing habits.
- Thumb-Sucking And Pacifiers
Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex for children and babies, helping to secure and soothe them, but this habit can cause problems with teeth alignment when permanent teeth come through, and can affect the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can do the same thing if used for too long, though this is often an easier habit to break.
Children naturally stop thumb-sucking or needing pacifiers between two and four years old, but you may need to encourage them to stop. Try praising your child for not sucking their thumb or ask your dentist to explain what could happen to their teeth. Children often thumb-suck when they need comfort, so focus on correcting the cause of their anxiety and it may stop naturally.
- Take Them To The Dentist
Signing up to a family dentist is the best way to get kids brushing their teeth like pros. The experts say that it is best to first take your child to the dentist when their very first tooth erupts (usually around 6 months) and then visit the dentist every 6 months from there on.
Children who adopt good dental hygiene practices from early on are more likely to continue these habits for life and therefore enjoy healthier teeth and gums into adulthood. Contact your local family dentist, like Smiles by the Sea in Del Mar, California, whose expert teams will show kids how to brush all on their own.
These people care about dental work and are compassionate. They specially adapt their dental care practices when working with children to make their dentist visit a fun and positive experience. Kids are more likely to listen to the dentist when it comes to learning proper dental habits, so let your dentist know where your child needs some extra help with their routine!