When it comes to your child’s oral health, you help set the stage for a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy gums. In fact, while tooth decay is one of the most common diseases for kids and adults, it’s also entirely preventable. That’s why we’re sharing a few tips that will help you encourage good oral hygiene in your child.
- Start early.
As soon as you see your child’s first tooth erupt, you should start brushing their teeth gently. As soon as their teeth start to touch, you should floss. Usually, between the ages of 6 and 9, your child can start brushing on their own. The sooner you introduce your child to basic oral care practices, the better. It becomes a habit they will readily continue as they get older.
- Talk about your own oral care practices.
One of the best ways to encourage good oral hygiene in your child is by being a good example. While you take care of your teeth, talk about what you are doing. Have them watch you, but be sure you are showing good techniques. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes long and floss each tooth individually up to the gumline.
- Introduce them to the dentist.
Bringing your child to the dentist early on is a great way of getting them familiar with regular checkups. This can give them a good foundation for oral care throughout their life. We offer free exams and fluoride treatments for children under three. We also make sure their visit is a fun one to make sure they feel positive about the whole experience.
- Let them choose their own toothbrush.
If your child is old enough to brush their teeth, have them choose their own toothbrush. There are a variety of characters, colors, and even fun features to toothbrushes that can make the whole experience fun. You can even let them choose their own flavor of toothpaste too. Just check that it has the ADA seal of approval on it.
- Encourage good eating habits.
Good oral hygiene isn’t just about brushing your teeth and flossing, it’s also about nutrition too. Talk to your child about how food and drinks can affect their teeth. Remind them that too much sugar can affect their tooth enamel and lead to cavities. At the same time, talk about how crunchy vegetables, fruits, and calcium can give them strong teeth.