Teaching your child how to take good care of their teeth can be an…uphill battle.
The most important foundation you can establish is one of discipline and consistency, two things that don’t come easily to the young mind. Then there’s reducing their sugar intake, which can feel like a punishment! Cracking down on good dental habits should be at the top of your to-do list this year, as today’s children are being faced with some of the highest rates of cavities and gingivitis ever seen. A childrens dentist can provide you with the means of not just providing check-ups, but making sure your oral health lessons are working. Still need some help?
Below are five essentials any good oral health habit should have, from yearly check-ups to swapping out toothbrushes!
Dental Visits Should Start Early For Maximum Effect
Did you know children should be starting regular dental visits at the age of one? This is commonly missed by many parents, not helped by how frightening the dentist’s office can seem at such a young age. Good oral health habits should be cemented early so they can last your child a lifetime. Even sitting pretty in the dentist’s chair and following directions is a good foundation to build discipline! Today one out of five American children go without dental care, exposing them to debilitating health issues that can affect every aspect of their life.
Brushing And Flossing Should Be Done Twice A Day
You might think brushing and flossing before bedtime is enough. Not so with your child’s growing teeth! The majority of dental diseases can be prevented by brushing and flossing twice a day, as it gives bacteria no wiggle room to grow into a problem. Good dental care can actually start as soon as your baby’s teeth are visible, which begins at four to five months of age. Brushing should include massaging the gums to reduce sensitivity, while flossing should take care to move between the gums, rather than through the teeth.
Rinsing Is The Oral Health Equivalent Of Extra Credit
This might come as a surprise, but a little rinsing goes a long way! A bottle of Listerine for children can give their oral health a boost that’ll leave their breath fresh and their gums happy. Your childrens dentist will go the extra mile to make sure all this hard work is topped off properly. Fluoride varnish is a high concentration fluoride that is painted onto teeth, preventing as much as one-third of decay in baby teeth. Keep in mind that fluoride toothpaste should not be used for children younger than two, unless directed by a doctor.
Switch Out Your Childrens’ Toothbrush Every Three Months
A common mistake many children and adults make is keeping the same old toothbrush around. This just exposes the teeth to weak bristles that don’t do the work of breaking up plaque and massaging gums. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is swapping out your toothbrushes every three months or so. Keep a few extra on hand so you don’t have to constantly run to the store and replenish your stock, right alongside extra floss. You’ll be surprised by the difference in quality!
Visit Your Dental Pediatrician Twice A Year
Last, but certainly not least, kids orthodontics should be a familiar location for your children. A drop in oral health can have huge consequences for your child’s self-esteem and physical health. Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain. In fact, cavities and periodontal disease are twenty times more common than diabetes and five times more common than childhood asthma! Childrens dental care should start early and be kept up with consistently, even when you’re sure everything’s fine on the surface.
Teach your kid good habits. Take them to the dentist regularly and make brushing and flossing a fun habit rather than a chore!