Teaching your child to maintain good oral hygiene is just as important as taking them to a pediatrician. The habits your children create now will likely stick with them for the rest of their lives. Here are six ways to get your kids on track to a lifetime of good oral health.
1. START EARLY.
Oral hygiene habits – good or bad – are formed early in life. As a parent, your job is to help your children develop good dental hygiene. The easiest way to accomplish this is to start early.
According to the American Dental Association, your child should begin seeing a dentist when his or her first tooth erupts, or by the time he or she is a year old – whichever comes first. We provide pediatric dentistry at Jones Bridge Dental Care in Alpharetta, GA.
2. INTRODUCE TOOTHPASTE SLOWLY.
Parents should supervise their children when they are first learning to brush with toothpaste. Teach your children the proper amount of toothpaste to use, and be sure he or she knows not to swallow it.
If your child is under 2 years of age, ask your dentist before brushing with toothpaste. A baby’s teeth should simply be brushed with water.
3. HELP WITH FLOSSING
Kids may have a tough time flossing thoroughly, especially when they are first learning, so be sure to help them and supervise their efforts. Young children will likely need a parent to floss for them.
Flossing is a crucial part of maintaining one’s oral health because it removes pieces of food and decay-causing plaque from areas a toothbrush will miss. Wondering if your child is ready for flossing? If he or she has two teeth next to each other, there’s a chance for plaque to form between the teeth, which means it’s time to start flossing.
4. LIMIT SUGARY SNACKS.
Explain to your kids that eating too much sugar is bad for their teeth, and teach them the importance of brushing after they’ve enjoyed something sweet.
Keep plenty of healthy snacks around to limit your children’s sugar intake and encourage good eating habits. Substitute sugary drinks for water.
5. TALK POSITIVELY ABOUT THE DENTIST.
The fear of going to the dentist often begins in childhood and continues throughout one’s life. That’s why parents should be sure to speak positively about going to the dentist.
A great way to set an example for your children is to make sure you visit the dentist regularly yourself.
6. LET KIDS PICK THEIR OWN TOOTHBRUSH.
Children often enjoy making their own decisions, so allow them to choose their own toothbrush.
Letting your child pick a toothbrush in his or her favorite color, or with a favorite character on it, can make him or her more likely to use it. Allowing your child to make this choice can also help him or her think of oral hygiene in a more positive and fun light.
With your guidance, your children will learn to maintain their oral hygiene and take good care of their smiles. Contact our office to schedule a dental appointment for your child.