Parents know how important good oral hygiene practices are. They also know how important it is to teach their children these habits too. If children have healthy baby teeth, then their adult teeth will be healthy after they grow in. You’ll want to prevent your kids from ever having cavities form on their teeth. Otherwise, not only will it hurt their oral health, but it will cost you a lot of money to get dental treatments for it.
According to a study by the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, a dental disease that is not treated can cause children to develop problems with their eating and sleeping. It could even limit their functionality at school and home too. Worst of all, the appearance of tooth decay will lower their self-esteem and increase their depression.
Making Sure Children’s Teeth Stay Healthy
It is easy to sustain the health of your child’s teeth. You shouldn’t wait until they have an unhealthy smile before you do something about it.
Below are 9 tips to make sure your child’s teeth stay healthy.
1) Practice what you preach
Kids look up to you as an example for their own behavior. Make sure you demonstrate good oral hygiene practices in front of them. This means flossing and brushing your teeth with your children at the same time. Don’t have them do it alone because they will probably cheat and not really do it. If children can treat dental care as a daily routine rather than a chore, then this will be a good thing for them in the long run.
2) Be a Teacher
If your child is less than 3 years old, demonstrate how to put toothpaste on the bristles of a toothbrush. Make sure this is a tiny amount that equals the size of a grain of rice. Teach your child how to spit the toothpaste instead of swallowing it. If they can do this, give them a little more toothpaste about the size of a pea. As their teeth start to touch one another after they’ve grown in, teach your child how to use mouthwash and floss.
3) Schedule Dental Visits
Go to the dentist at least once every 6 months. Bring your children with you, so they can see the normal dental routine that you go through. After your child turns 1-year-old, take them to the dentist within the next 6 months. Then keep taking them every 6 months.
Discuss with your child about who a dentist is and what they do. This will prepare your child for the experience. Also, you might want to discuss any concerns you have with your dentist regarding things like thumb sucking, mouth guards, losing teeth, and so on.
5) Nutritious Foods
Give your kids food and beverages that have little to no sugar in them. This is the best way to prevent them from dealing with cavities and tooth decay issues.
Children should always brush their teeth at least 2 times per day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. This is the best way to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth and in their gums. You can even download special mobile apps which enhance the fun of oral hygiene care.
7) Teeth Sealants
If your child has healthy teeth, a dentist may help keep them healthy by putting sealants on them. The sealants are meant to prevent erosion and cavities.
Make brushing fun by letting your child pick a cool-looking toothbrush of their own. Track your child’s brushing progress and give them rewards for keeping up with their oral hygiene. These rewards could be new toys or a trip to the movie theater.
9) Avoid Sharing Germs
Don’t let your children put things in your mouth that other people have already put in their mouths. This includes pacifiers, cups, forks, spoons, and so on. Otherwise, the bacteria from one person’s mouth could get transferred into your child’s mouth. Keep all items like this sanitized when not in use. This is the best way to prevent your child from getting a bacterial infection like oral thrush.
Overall Goals for Good Teeth Health
Everyone in your family should have these same goals for their oral hygiene care. It is especially important for your child because it will make caring for their teeth easier when they are an adult.
Here are the habits your child should have before adulthood:
- No eating sugary foods
- Enhance the fun of oral care
- Brush 2 times per day
- Go to the dentist 2 times per year
- Use mouthwash and floss every day