Tips to Help Your Kids Practice Good Dental Hygiene
One of the most important self-care skills you can teach your children is how to properly take care of their teeth. While going to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings helps with oral hygiene, a daily routine will go a long way toward preserving your children’s smiles.
You may think allowing your children to have fruit juices is a good alternative to soda, but too much juice can do just as much harm to the teeth. Juices are often high in acid, which can wear away the tooth enamel, especially if your children use refillable bottles and sippy cups that allow them to drink juice all day. Also constant presence of sugars in their mouth will lead to rampant decay in their teeth. To ensure your children continue to enjoy optimal oral health, you should wean them off sweet drinks and encourage them to drink more water. This process can begin with drinking a glass of water for every glass of juice and slowly increasing the ratio.
Be the Example
Children learn by example, and you are the best candidate to help your kids with their daily oral care. A good approach to this is making brushing and flossing time a family activity. Your children will see you taking care of your teeth and will follow your lead. You can also monitor their activity to make sure they are not rushing through and cutting corners.
- Brushing time should last for a minimum of two minutes and include the surface of each tooth as well as the tongue. Children should floss between all teeth, not just the ones in the front.
- If your children are under the age of two, you should floss and brush their teeth every day. This will get them off to a good start toward regular oral care.
- Consider making flossing and brushing a game that offers incentives and rewards consistent habits. Once the activity becomes routine, you will no longer need to offer rewards.
This is an opportunity to teach your children a healthy regimen that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
See the Dentists at the Center for Dentofacial Aesthetics
Bring your kids along at your appointment. This gives them the chance to get comfortable with the office and the surroundings. This will establish that seeing a dentist is a normal part of life, and there is nothing to fear. An area where you must set the example is by going to the dentist yourself and presenting it as a positive experience. If your children see that you are anxious and fearful, they will be afraid, which can create lifelong anxiety about dental visits. Begin taking your children to the dentist when their first teeth come in, which is typically at age one. Visiting regularly will also help the dentist catch problems early and develop an appropriate treatment plan. At CDA, we have friendly dentists and staff to help you and your little ones feel comfortable as soon as you walk through our door.
As a parent, you have the responsibility to shape your children’s lives. Teaching them about good dental hygiene by example is one of the best gifts you can give. Consult with our dentists if you need help with the process.