These 8 tips will help with your child’s dental health.
Your child’s teeth influence their overall health. However, you might be one of many parents struggling to instill positive hygiene habits in a reluctant little one.
Understandably, children resist things that they don’t understand or fear might hurt. However, taking care of their teeth need not be mysterious or painful. The following eight tips will help with your child’s dental health.
Gather the right tools
Your kids should brush twice daily and floss once — their pre-bedtime routine should consist of a full string, scrub and rinse treatment. When making your selections, choosing kid-friendly options such as bubble-gum flavors can make your youngster more likely to use them.
Tiny fingers can struggle to manipulate standard dental floss. Consider using pre-threaded floss picks — younger toddlers can hold one while you use another to clean their teeth. As they develop fine motor skills, they can eventually take over with your supervision.
Should you go with a manual or an electric toothbrush? An Atomik Research study indicates that those who power up battery-operated models enjoy healthier gums and less tooth decay than those who choose standard varieties. They come in handy if your child is too little to scrub vigorously yet.
Teach the technique
If all you issue is a “go brush your teeth” command, guess what? Your children aren’t born with intuitive knowledge of what to do. Get to the sink and lather up with them to demonstrate the correct technique.
Show them how to place their brush at a 45-degree angle to their gum line to remove debris and minimize plaque buildup. They should use a gentle up-and-down motion to get the backs of their front teeth. They should scrub for approximately two minutes, making sure to hit all surfaces.
Make it a family affair
It doesn’t matter how many times you explain the importance of oral hygiene. Your kiddos will imitate what you do far more than they follow the words you say. If you want them to demonstrate initiative in brushing their teeth, let them see you do it.
Why not make it a family affair? With today’s hectic schedules, it’s more challenging than ever to get time with those you love. Start a nightly ritual where you all perform your pre-bed hygiene routine together like taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth, etc. before reading junior a story and tucking them in bed.
Talk about oral health
What do you respond when your child asks why they have to go to the dentist? After all, to a 4-year-old’s sensibilities, going to see someone in a white coat when they don’t feel sick doesn’t make much sense. Don’t force them to comply — give them an explanation in an age-appropriate way.
For example, if your kiddo ever asked you if their dog’s mouth is really cleaner than a human’s, embrace this teachable moment. You can explain that all living things have various bacteria living in their mouths that can cause trouble. The way to keep those germs from causing problems is by minimizing them through proper hygiene.
Keep your regular checkups
Adults should see their dentists at least once per year, although those with a history of oral issues may need more frequent appointments. You should book your child’s first appointment before their first birthday. If they get a clean bill, you can wait until they turn two to begin taking them in every six months.
Between the ages of seven through nine, your dentist will probably recommend sealers as their adult teeth begin emerging. They’ll also examine their jaw for any deformities, even though most kids don’t get braces until they hit their teens.
Eat fewer acidic foods
Acid is the enemy of tooth enamel. It can eat away at this protective tooth coating, leaving your child cavity-prone.
The problem is, some highly acidic foods also contain beneficial nutrients like vitamin C. Try to keep treats like orange juice for earlier in the day so that acids don’t sit on surfaces overnight.
Encourage tooth-friendly snacking
Some foods can benefit teeth. Dairy enjoys a positive reputation because the calcium helps strengthen your child’s pearly whites. However, milk does contain lactose, a form of sugar that cavity-causing bacteria also enjoy. Moderation is critical.
Treats like baby carrots and apples make ideal snacks or desserts. These fibrous substances act as natural toothbrushes to scrub away debris, leaving your mouth feeling fresher without brushing. Excess sugar can cause cavities and also adversely affect your little one’s mood and behavior, so limit the candy to one piece.
Let them chew (sugarless) gum
If your child is old enough to chew gum without it presenting a choking hazard, please encourage the habit. The act of chewing helps your child’s mouth produce saliva, which washes harmful bacteria away from their teeth and gums.
Saliva also helps reduce the amount of acid in your child’s mouth. They might not want to pop in a stick of wintergreen right after finishing an orange, but the taste won’t contrast if they wait a few minutes.
These 8 tips will help with your child’s dental health
Your child’s teeth influence their overall well-being. Follow the eight tips above to help with your child’s dental health.