As our children grow and their dental health develops, it’s critical that parents help develop good oral hygiene practices. Our developmental period as children plays a central role in the health of our adult teeth. As parents, it will help prevent costly orthodontic and dental treatments down the road. For our children, proper oral hygiene sets them on the path to a future with beautiful smiles and excellent oral health. We’ve provided a series of tips to help parents encourage their children to develop good oral hygiene habits.
How To Keep Kids On The Road To Good Oral Health
One of the misconceptions about our baby, or primary, teeth is that they are expendable. All too often, they’re considered the ‘training wheels of oral hygiene .’Unfortunately, the dental problems we face as children can follow us into adulthood. Our primary teeth play a critical role in ensuring our teeth come in straight with sufficient room to erupt. Utilizing the following tips will help ensure your children develop and maintain good oral habits.
- Monkey See, Monkey Do – Especially in their earliest years, children like to mimic the practices of adults. This is a standard part of their development and an excellent opportunity for you to show them what good oral hygiene is all about. Take a little extra time to brush and floss with your children so you can be there to ensure it’s done correctly. Make it part of your standard daily practice until it becomes routine.
- Teach them – As your child’s oral health develops, you’ll have to introduce new oral health routines. Show them the appropriate level of toothpaste to you, make sure they spit the foam out rather than swallow it. Demonstrate how they can floss adequately and how to successfully rinse with mouthwash.
- Keep Appointments Routine – Make sure every member of your family visits the dentist twice a year. Maintaining these appointments demonstrates how important they are, and they’ll become a regular part of your child’s habits. Appointments should begin by six months of age and continue twice a year after that.
- Keep An Open Forum – Address your children’s questions about oral health. Educate them on appropirate expectations during their visits to the dentist. Encourage them to ask their dentist questions. Most importantly, be sure to bring concerns about mouth guards, losing teeth, crowding, thumb sucking, and other concerns to your dentist.
- Eat Healthy Foods – There are a lot of health benefits to avoiding foods that are sugary, and avoiding cavities is one of them. When sugar settles onto our teeth, it becomes a food source for bacteria that produce acids that can harm our teeth. Try teaching healthier eating habits and offer alternatives to sugary snacks.
- Proper Brushing – An effective brushing routine should last at least two minutes. Combining this time with proper brushing technique ensures that all areas of the mouth are reached. You can utilize tartar dye to help show where brushing has been done thoroughly. There are many apps to make it easier!
These tips are a great start to helping your child achieve lasting oral health through proper oral hygiene.
Get Additional Help From Your Dental Practitioner
Another excellent resource for teaching good oral health is speaking to your dental practitioner. They’ll often have additional information they can share, including visual guides on proper brushing techniques.