Proper dental hygiene for young children should start as soon as possible. In fact, babies should have their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth comes out. As parents, you have to keep in mind that your children will only have one set of permanent teeth once they start losing their baby teeth, and the foundation of their oral care begins with you taking an active role. If you are unsure of how you can help your kids with their dental hygiene, here are some tips to help you:
Teach Your Kids About Dental Hygiene
Make the Experience Fun
For most young kids, brushing their teeth is often considered a chore. As a result, they may be unwilling to do it, which can lead to the development of cavities and other oral issues. If you are going to introduce oral care to your children, make it as fun as possible. Try singing a song while brushing your teeth together. This way, they will look at it as less of a chore and more as a fun bonding activity.
Bring Them for Regular Dental Visits
Some children are afraid of the dentist due to the invasive nature of cleaning procedures. Sometimes the fear comes from the association that dental visits are done when something’s wrong with their teeth rather than a regular check-up. Bring your child to a dental visit at least twice a year. Include this when getting dental insurance, so it becomes a regular thing.
Set an Example
If your children see you hardly brushing or flossing your teeth, they may get the idea that it is something unimportant. Lead by example and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Don’t forget to floss, particularly at nighttime to prevent tartar build-up and the development of cavities. Showing them that you massage your gums can also help them recognize the importance of gum health. You can also bring your child whenever you go for your dental check-up. It will help give them an idea of what to expect for their next visit.
Let Them Choose Their Toothbrush
If you buy a toothbrush for your children, let them choose a design they love so they’ll be encouraged to use it. You can even select a toothbrush that comes with a timer, so they will know when they have brushed their teeth sufficiently. Give them a nice dental treat after they brush their teeth. You can also choose toothpaste flavors that suit their taste. When you make them part of the decision process, it will be easier for them to become independent when it comes to their oral care.
Encourage Tongue Cleaning
Teaching proper oral care goes beyond just brushing your teeth. You also have to teach them that their tongue is part of their oral cavity and must receive adequate cleaning as well. Encourage them to gently scrub their tongue and upper palate whenever they brush.
Educate Them About Oral Health
If you want to encourage your kids to practice good oral hygiene, you have to take a more active approach by educating them about oral health and the associated diseases that result from poor oral care. You can ask for the help of your family dentists to help you out. This way, your kids will have a more informed understanding. Before you know it, you no longer have to prod them to brush their teeth because they would be willing to do it for themselves.
Serve Healthy Food Items
As parents, you should also have to make sure that your family has access to food items beneficial for their oral health. Avoid giving your children artificial juice or sweetened beverages. Limit their intake of sweets during special occasions only. It has to become a regular practice in your household, specifically if your children have a genetic predisposition for oral problems. Introduce fruits for snacking rather than serving them sugary snacks.
Provide Adequate Hydration
You should likewise teach your children about hydration. Drinking plenty of water is also great for improving oral health. Ideally, you should have your children drink water after every meal. Not only will it wash away any food debris that may be stuck in between their teeth, but it also helps reduce the negative effects of acidic and sticky food items.
Oral Hygiene Starts From Home
Oral health is an essential yet overlooked aspect of health and wellness. Teach your kids the importance of good oral hygiene so they grow up with a good set of teeth.