As a parent, you do everything possible to ensure that your child is healthy, happy, and developing correctly. While physical health is essential, you can’t forget about oral health and hygiene, since the habits your child picks up today can stick with her or him until adulthood.
Having an excellent pediatric dentist helps, as she or he has the training to show your kids how to take care of their teeth, but you have to do your due diligence at home so that each check-up is flawless.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun
As with nearly everything else you teach your child, the trick is to make a game out of oral hygiene. You can use positive reinforcement, come up with games, or show your child entertaining but educational media showcasing the importance of brushing and flossing. You might choose a novelty toothbrush––perhaps even an electric toothbrush that talks. Time your child’s brushing to one of their favorite songs and encourage them to brush to the rhythm of the music.
Check for Plaque
You can find dental disclosing tablets that reveal if your child’s teeth have a buildup of plaque. These are brightly colored tablets that your child can chew, much like a vitamin. The tablets contain a dye—it’s harmless—that shows you any areas of plaque on your kid’s chompers. That way, you can instruct your child to focus on particular areas with the toothbrush. You can also see how well your child has been flossing.
Choose Water over Sweet Drinks
Almost everyone loves a soda now and then, and juice can be a go-to for any parent who wants to give their child crucial vitamin C. Unfortunately, those sweet drinks can damage your children’s teeth. The sugar attracts bacteria, which feed off of the sugar to create harmful acids that wear away the enamel of the teeth. Encourage your child to drink water from a young age. Not only is it healthier overall, but it’s also much healthier for the teeth.
Dentists recommend weaning your child off a dependence on pacifiers or thumb-sucking before the age of three. At the very least, you need to encourage your child to quit before she or he starts getting adult teeth. Prolonged sucking can cause issues with a child’s bite, the alignment of the jaw, and the shape of the roof of the mouth.
By following these easy steps, you can ensure that your child develops a positive attitude towards oral hygiene. Scheduling regular check-ups to your pediatric dentist can further guarantee that your child’s teeth are healthy well into his or her adolescent years. Oral health problems which occur later in life can often be traced back to poor oral care during childhood, so make sure that you and your dentist are doing all you can to keep your child on track for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
Larry Hayman is a freelance writer and has been a Certified Physician Assistant for over five years. He enjoys writing about new developments in medicine and discussing cutting edge research across a number of medical fields. In his free time, he hikes the mountains near his Montana home.