Although it can be tough to get some kids in the habit of great dental care habits, it’s essential that they incorporate oral care into their daily life. In this post, we’ll review some of the information parents need to know as they work with their child on a routine that’ll help them achieve healthy teeth and gums that’ll last them a lifetime.
People tend to underestimate the importance of childhood dental care, thinking that baby teeth eventually fall out. However, maintaining healthy baby teeth IS important, as it sets the foundation for superb oral health down the line. Not only do your child’s first teeth allow them to learn how to eat and speak properly, but healthy baby teeth contribute to the development of healthy adult teeth, too! For optimal oral health development, encourage positive and consistent dental experiences early on. Before your child even has teeth, wipe their gums with a moist cloth. Then, bring your child to see us by the age of one, or within six months of their first tooth appearance. Brush their teeth as soon as they start appearing, and encourage they continue this habit independently twice a day as they get older.
If you help your child develop a positive association with the habit of brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist early, they’re more likely to keep those habits through childhood and into adulthood, lowering the likelihood of decay and other issues as they age. You can encourage these habits both by teaching your kids about the importance of dental care and by making brushing fun. If they know why they are brushing their teeth and understand the negative consequences of skipping out on brushing, they’re more likely to keep up with the habit. Look for themed toothbrushing materials, play music while they’re brushing, and come up with little non-sugary rewards and incentives for brushing (like a sticker chart).
As with many components of growing up, kids need a consistent role model when it comes to dental care. If they see you skipping your brushing and flossing before bed, or constantly sipping soda and munching on sugary candy and potato chips, they’ll understand it as OK to do the same. If you haven’t already done so, make an effort to reform your own dental health habits to your kiddos have a good example to follow. Make sure you are brushing and flossing daily, seeing a dentist for regular check-ups, eating a nutritious diet, enjoying treats in moderation, and drinking plenty of water.
Here at Vayner Family Dentistry, we happily accept patients of all ages. When it comes to your child’s dental care, don’t forget the importance of their biannual cleaning and exam. Contact us today to schedule a visit for every member of your family.
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