The habits we establish when we are young tend to stay with us throughout our lives. Therefore, it’s essential that you, as a parent, instill appropriate oral hygiene practices in your child from an early age for them to enjoy a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles! Your child may have difficulty functioning normally at school or home if they have poor oral hygiene practices, a common cause of poor dental health in children. In addition, if they are not addressed, it can lead to cosmetic or structural damage to their teeth, both of which are undesirable outcomes. Don’t worry; developing and reinforcing healthy oral habits is simple, and it is the best way to ensure that your child’s smile will remain healthy for many years.
Most parents want to assist their children in kicking their poor oral habits, but they are unsure of how to get started. It’s a smart bet to educate them on how these habits can harm their teeth and work on some modest habit changes, but dental intervention may be required in severe cases. At Long Ridge Dental, our primary goal is to assist your child in developing a smile that is not only beautiful but also healthy and functional. Continue reading to gain more insight into how you may ensure your child’s smile remains bright, cheerful, and healthy throughout their lifetime!
Lead by Example
When infants first open their eyes, the people who care for them model appropriate behaviors such as smiling, speaking, and brushing one’s teeth. You should make it clear in your home that cleaning and flossing your teeth regularly is a good habit. Your youngsters will get excited about the prospect of being able to wash their teeth and use dental floss as they get older.
This lays the groundwork for pleasant experiences associated with brushing, rather than making it seem like a burdensome task.
Start at an Early Age
Before your child develops their teeth, you can clean the gums gently with a damp washcloth. Once the first tooth comes in, it is important to begin a regular brushing routine. This not only helps prevent cavities in baby teeth, but it also gets your child used to clean their teeth, which will make it easier for them to see brushing their teeth as the sensible thing to do when they are older.
You should begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as you notice any contact between their teeth. Your child will normally experience this one tooth at a time, making the process simpler for them. When two teeth are touching one another, flossing takes a second, but the length of time needed to floss gradually grows as more teeth come into contact.
Remember that you should discuss the health of your child’s gums with them rather than concentrating on their teeth. Proper oral hygiene is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. As reports show that over half of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease, it’s clear that we need to place a greater emphasis on maintaining healthy gums.
Remind Your Kids the Importance of Healthy Teeth
The most effective form of prevention is, somewhat counterintuitively, the development of healthy behaviors toward one’s oral health. It’s common to think that cavities in baby teeth don’t matter, but dental decay in baby teeth can cause difficulties in your children’s permanent teeth. If your children have cavities in their baby teeth, they are more likely to have cavities in their permanent teeth. Inappropriate flossing techniques can also result in gum disease in the long run.
Ensure your children are cleaning their teeth and flossing properly, and then instruct them on these habits. Because of this, it will be easier for children to incorporate activities beneficial to their dental health into their regular routines. Ensure that all plaques are removed, as this can lead to tooth decay.
Provide Them with the Right Tools
Always begin with the fundamentals when considering strategies to improve your child’s dental hygiene practice. The condition of their toothbrush is a good illustration of this. It is a common misconception that toothbrushes with stiffer bristles are more effective at cleaning teeth; however, this is not the case. Your child’s gums may become more sensitive to pain if they use a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm for their mouth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles instead, and when cleaning your teeth and gums, be sure to do so gently. This will provide you with more comfort as well as greater results.
Limit Their Sugar Intake
It may seem like another point stating the obvious, but you must teach your children to choose healthier snacks like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and cheese over sweets and chips. Thankfully, some activities may turn to learn healthy eating behaviors into enjoyable experiences. For instance, you should encourage your children to assist with the purchasing of food and the cultivation of food, and you should get them engaged in the preparation of nutritious meals. Taking responsibility for their choices regarding their meals will inspire children to make healthier selections. When introducing new meals to younger children, you can suggest that they bring their favorite stuffed animal to the table and let the stuffed animal sample the food first. Alternatively, you might tell that the child tastes the food. If possible, hold off on eating foods high in sugar or carbohydrate until mealtimes. Assist them in limiting the consumption of items that are harmful to their teeth to particular periods of the day.
Make Oral Care Routine Fun
Make brushing your teeth an enjoyable activity to avoid making it a struggle for your child. Choose music that is one of your favorites that you can brush your teeth to, let your children choose their toothbrushes, and use a reward sheet to track how often they brush their teeth. Your youngster will benefit from visualizing the time they need to continue brushing if you invest in a two-minute egg timer. They would be able to add a star to their reward chart whenever they brushed for the minimum amount of time required.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups as Soon as Your Child Has Their First Tooth
Depending on what the dentists prescribe, parents should prioritize having their children in for routine dental checks around once every six months as their children become older. This will help make the experience more manageable. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry experts recommend that parents take their children to the dentist when their first tooth appears. X-rays of the teeth should begin for children around 5 or 6; however, younger x-rays may be necessary for children with a greater risk of tooth decay or restricted dental space.
Give Your Child Healthy Smiles for a Lifetime with Long Ride Dental!
Long Ridge Dental has years of experience in being able to treat any member of the family, and we welcome new patients. Because we place a strong emphasis on preventative dentistry, we know that establishing good oral hygiene practices at an early age is one of the most effective strategies to preserve your family’s oral health in the years to come. When you come to us, we do everything in our power to ensure that your family always has a beautiful smile!