The dental hygiene habits children learn while they are young can affect them for their entire lives. Teaching good dental care practices to kids is a great way to ensure that they avoid cavities and tooth decay not only during their youth but into adulthood as well. It can, however, be hard to figure out what habits to instill in kids without overwhelming them.
As you read this guide, you’ll learn more about some healthy habits you can teach your children to keep their teeth healthy and strong for decades to come. You may already be doing some of these things; if so, keep it up! It never hurts, though, to add additional dental care habits as kids get older, so remember any suggestions you aren’t currently implementing for later.
Brush teeth twice per day.
Kids should be taught to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day. Typically, when they wake up and before they go to bed are the best times, but only you can know what schedule works best for your family. Some parents, for example, prefer to have their little ones brush teeth after breakfast rather than when they first wake up. To make sure your kids are brushing long enough, set a timer next to the sink.
Visit the dentist on a regular basis.
If you want your kids to maintain good oral health for life, establishing a “dental home” is essential to starting children off with positive experiences and a solid foundation to build upon. The AAPD and AAP recommend a child’s first visit to the dentist should be at age 1. This way, they will know that visiting a dental professional is not something to fear. If you have a child who strongly dislikes visits to the dentist, consider giving him or her a small treat or toy each time he or she has a successful appointment. It is also crucial to find a local dentist your kids like and feel comfortable with.
Eat healthy foods instead of junk.
The healthier kids eat, the more likely they are to avoid tooth decay. Teaching them about nutritious foods while they’re young will help them plan balanced meals that are good for their oral health throughout their lives. At snack time, for instance, serve yogurt dip with fruit or vegetables instead of sugar-filled sweets.
The more time you spend helping your little ones understand how crucial oral health is to overall wellness, the better off they will be in the future. Encourage them to ask you questions about their teeth. Having an open conversation with your kids about any and all topics will improve your relationship and keep all of you engaged with one another. Visit Lindner Dental Associates for your regular checkup and keep away from tooth decay!