How To Keep Your Children’s Teeth Healthy
Anyone who takes care of children knows just how much of a challenge it can be to get them to brush their teeth, and brush them properly. Unfortunately, poor dental habits during childhood can have adverse effects that show well into adulthood. Getting a good dental routine in place and ensuring proper brushing is vital for maintaining good oral health – but how exactly can you help your little ones to do this? Here are a few tips to help get your kids on track to having healthy smiles.
Regular Dentist Appointments.
Visiting a reputable family dental practice at least twice a year is extremely important if you want to maintain strong pearly whites and a healthy mouth. You child should have their first visit to see a dentist within six months of their first tooth peeping through, or on their first birthday – which ever happens first – followed by twice yearly after that.
Also, by keeping regular appointments, you’re normalizing visits to the dentist – which will make your kids more at ease when it’s time for a check-up. A regular dental appointment routine will become a normal part of life for them, and they will learn not to put it off – even when they’re adults.
Be a Good Role Model
With kids, it’s monkey see monkey do. They love to copy others around them, so practicing what you preach is absolutely vital if you want your little ones to have good dental hygiene habits. Let them see you brush and floss your teeth every morning and night before bed, and make a show of it. Also, it’s a great idea to brush and floss with them. Don’t just send them off to the bathroom on their own – get involved and clean those pearly whites with them.
Brushing badly is almost the same as not brushing at all. Make sure your little ones brush at least twice a day for two minutes minimum – but the longer the better. It’s also a good idea to get proper-sized toothbrushes designed for kids.
Teach Them the Proper Way
Little ones – especially those under age five – need you to show them how it’s done. Show them how to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and how to spit it out after brushing. Instruct your child to floss properly and gently between their teeth, and practice rinsing with mouthwash without swallowing. And, more importantly – praise them for getting it right! Kids love being showered with good feedback and praise, so make sure you reward them when they do it correctly.
Don’t Treat Dental Hygiene as a Chore
Instead of treating brushing and flossing as a bore some chore, make it a fun part of their daily routine. Go with them to the bathroom, teach them how to brush and floss properly whilst enforcing the importance of doing it right. You can also make a game out of brushing time – why not make a fun competition in which the winner is the one who uses proper brushing and flossing techniques, and ends up with the cleanest, shiniest teeth? Plus, you can even make a fun show of teaching them how to properly spit all the toothpaste and mouthwash into the sink.
Talking to your children about what they can expect when they go to see the dentist is the perfect way to help them feel at ease. Explain that the dentist will gently have a look in their mouth and inspect their teeth – and it’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s not abnormal for some kids to get really scared and anxious when a visit to the dental office is on the cards – but by talking to them first, and letting them know what’s going to happen, their anxieties should reduce.
Communicate With the Dentist
Talk to the dentist about any concerns, such as if your child is suffering with tooth or gum pain, has teeth falling out, does too much thumb-sucking, or if your child does any sports that might put their teeth at risk – rugby for example is a rough one, and your kid might need a properly-fitted mouth guard. Good communication with your dentist is necessary for ensuring your little ones’ teeth remain in tip top shape right into adulthood.
Watch Their Sugar Intake
We all know the problems of consuming too much sugar. Candy, chocolate, sugary cereals, and sodas loaded with sugar are all ingredients for rotten teeth, cavities, and overall poor mouth health. It’s well known that sugar decays the teeth, so for your children to have healthy, strong smiles, avoid excess sweet food and drinks that contain a lot of added sugar.
As mentioned, praise and rewards are excellent ways to get your kids to brush properly every day, and if they know they’re going to be rewarded for their efforts, they definitely won’t skip out on their dental hygiene routine. There are various ways you can reward them, like letting them choose their own toothbrush (there are plenty of fun options with lights and accessories for kiddies!) You can also create a teeth-brushing goal chart that leads to bigger rewards, such as visits to the movies, a new toy, some pocket money, or another kind of treat that’ll give them an incentive to stick to their daily dental routine.
By following these helpful tips, it should help you to keep your children’s dental routine in check. By using rewards, teaching proper brushing, having regular dental appointments, and keeping sugar intake down, you kids will not only form a solid routine and learn how to brush the right way, but also form good habits for life that’ll see them have a healthy smile for life.