Taking care of your teeth is an important part of staying healthy, and it’s never too early to teach children how to do so. As a parent, you can provide guidance on the importance of good oral hygiene habits that will help keep their teeth strong and healthy for years to come. Here are some tips on how you can help your kids develop a lifetime of good dental health practices.
1. Establish a regular brushing and flossing schedule
Make sure your child brushes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flosses daily. It’s best to supervise your child while they brush or help them do it until they’re at least seven years old. In addition, you can use a timer or set the alarm to remind your kids when it’s time to brush and floss. This will help ensure that your kids are following the recommended oral hygiene habits. For instance, brushing for two minutes and flossing once a day.
2. Choose the right toothbrush
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that is the appropriate size for your child’s mouth. You can also help them find one with a favourite character or design to help make brushing more fun. Also, replace their toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles have frayed. In addition, you might consider an electric toothbrush for your child as they are more effective at removing plaque and can help teach your kids to brush longer and more thoroughly. Also, look for a toothbrush that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
3. Schedule regular visits to the dentist
It’s important that your child has regular check-ups with the dentist starting around their first birthday or sooner if recommended by their doctor. This will help identify any potential problems with their teeth and gums so that they -can be addressed early on. In addition, routine visits provide an opportunity for the dentist to give personalized advice on oral hygiene practices that work best for your child’s specific needs. Also, make sure to visit a specialist in periodontics to get your teeth checked for any signs of periodontal disease that may be present. This is especially important if you have a history of gum disease in your family.
4. Offer healthy foods and drinks
What your child eats and drinks can have a big effect on their dental health. Provide them with snacks and meals that are low in sugar, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and dairy products. Limit or avoid sugary or acidic drinks like soda, juice, or sports drinks as much as possible — water is always the best choice! You can also talk to your paediatrician about fluoride supplements if you feel they’re needed for your child’s oral health. This will help strengthen the enamel of their teeth and reduce their risk for tooth decay.
5. Use the right dental products
In addition to toothbrushes, there are other dental items such as fluoride mouthwashes and toothpaste that can help keep teeth healthy and promote better oral hygiene. Talk to your dentist or paediatrician about what type of products would be best suited for your child’s needs, as well as the proper way to use them. Also, make sure to read labels and only use products that have the ADA seal of approval. In addition, look for products that contain antibacterial agents like triclosan or stannous fluoride to help prevent cavities and gum disease.
6. Avoid very hot or very cold meals and drinks
Your child’s teeth are still developing and so they can be extra sensitive to extreme temperatures. Try to avoid giving them very hot or very cold foods and drinks to help protect their teeth from damage. In addition, make sure to limit their exposure to sugary foods and drinks, which can also damage tooth enamel. This is especially important if your child has braces, as it can be even easier for sugars to get trapped in brackets and cause cavities. For instance, it’s best to avoid sticky candy and hard candy, as well as acidic foods such as citrus fruits.
Overall, it’s important for parents to be aware of their child’s oral health and take the necessary steps to ensure that they are following good dental hygiene habits. This includes providing them with healthy foods and drinks, choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush with an ADA seal of approval, scheduling regular visits to the dentist, using appropriate dental products such as fluoride mouthwashes or triclosan toothpaste, and avoiding very hot or cold meals and drinks. With these tips in mind, you can help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy throughout their life!