Dental hygiene is important regardless of age and the number of teeth you may have, which means that whether you are 4 or 80, it is imperative to brush your teeth twice and floss at least once a day.
But how do you introduce your child into this dental hygiene routine without making it too cumbersome on yourself and your child? Here are some tips to teach your child the importance of brushing their teeth regularly, from an early age.
Keeping Your Toddler’s Teeth Healthy
Even though it is preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is one of the most common conditions seen in children between the ages of 6 and 19.
The CDC reports that early neglect can often lead to conditions like delay in the onset of speech in toddlers, frequent toothaches and even diabetes. Oral health is also linked to heart ailments, making it even more important to pay attention to yours and your children’s teeth.
When is the right time to start? Dental experts believe that you should start practicing oral care even before your child’s first tooth appears. They suggest using a moist cloth to wipe your infant’s gums every night and upgrade to a soft-bristled toothbrush after the first tooth comes out. It is recommended to schedule a dentist’s appointment by the child’s first birthday, to set a routine and learn what you can do to keep your baby’s new teeth healthy.
It is also recommended to start flossing as soon as multiple teeth appear because various studies show that care starting at an early age can reduce the expenses related to dental care by nearly 40 percent.
Tips for creating and maintaining a healthy dental routine for children:
- Start them young and gradually make them understand how important it is to keep their teeth clean.
- Set a good example, by brushing and flossing regularly; children tend to mimic their parents and seeing you take care of your teeth will encourage them to do the same.
- Help your child brush on their own from about the age of 2.
- Present the options and have your child pick their favorite toothpaste; this may increase their interest in brushing.
- Have small rewards on hand for all the days when your child brushes and flosses diligently.
Tips for maintaining good oral health from an early age:
Having a brushing and flossing routine alone may not be enough to help your child’s teeth stay healthy. Follow these tips to complement their hygiene routine:
- Try to avoid or reduce using a pacifier as it can impact the formation of the teeth and can even change the shape of your child’s mouth.
- Be aware that children’s medications tend to have high sugar content; so, remember to rinse your child’s mouth after administering such medicines as they can increase the risk of cavities.
- Avoid giving your child sugary drinks in a sippy cup as drinking through these cups could increase the risk of decay to the front teeth.
- Reduce your child’s consumption of sugary fruit juices, even if they are 100 percent real juice. Doctors recommend limiting the quantity to 4 ounces a day.
- If your child has the tendency to fall asleep with a bottle, make sure it contains only water. Milk or juices could lead to tooth decay.
While you teach your child the importance of dental hygiene and the need to brush at least twice a day, make sure you don’t forget to practice what you preach because your dental health is important too.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.orajel.com/en/Resource-Center/Learning-to-Brush/Tips-to-Get-Kids-to-Brush-Their-Own-Teeth
8 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-for-kids#1
5 fun ways to get your kids to brush their teeth. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/kids-brush-teeth.html