“Untreated dental disease compromises the child’s ability to eat well, sleep well, and function well at home and at school. The unaesthetic nature of untreated dental decay compromises the child’s self-esteem and social development” (CDA). This is why it is so very important to have an early focus on good dental health for children and to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible as they grow up.
How To Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy
Unfortunately, many of these adverse effects of poor dental health will extend long after childhood. Starting off now while they are young is the best way to instill good habits and to give your children a sense of importance when it comes to taking care of their teeth!
Be a role model. Kids naturally are wired to imitate those around them because that is how they learn about the world around them. So, make sure you are being a good role model and are showing them good oral health habits each and every day. Brush and floss with your kids, rather than sending them off to do it on their own. Don’t act like it a chore that must be done, turn into a fun family activity you all get to do together and that you all can enjoy.
Teach them. Demonstrate for younger children how to use a rice-size amount of toothpaste. Once your child is able to understand how to spit, rather than swallow the paste, it is ok to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with each brushing. When their teeth have grown in so they are touching each other, you can start introducing your child to the process of flossing. You will need to do that at least once a day before bed as part of ensuring good dental health for children like yours.
Keep dental appointments. It is so very important to your child’s dental health and wellbeing that you keep a regular routine of visiting the dentist twice a year. Make sure you involve your child as much as possible so they don’t feel like it is something they are being forced into with no say. Your child should have their first dental appointment once their first tooth starts to emerge. Every 6 months after that a general dental cleaning a checkup should be scheduled.
Talk to them. It is very important that you take the time to talk to your kids about what they can expect at the dentist. Answer their questions and explain to them what is going to happen. Do not downplay their fears and do not lie to them either about what is going to happen at the dentist. Building trust and communication early on with you, your child and their dental care team will make things much easier if something does happen years down the road when they are older.
Eat healthy foods. The food your children eat have a huge impact on their health and wellbeing but it also greatly impacts the health of their teeth. It is important that they eat healthy foods and get all the vitamins and nutrients they need. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods not only helps overall health but helps them learn about the dangers of cavities. When your child understands how their choices can affect their teeth, it will be easier for them to make the right choices.
Brush and floss. Brushing at least twice a day is important but you also need to do it for at least 2 minutes for it to be really effective. Set a timer and use a tartar dye if desired to ensure your child is brushing properly. Flossing is also important, especially once the permanent adult teeth start to come in because damage early on can affect them and cause problems for the rest of your child’s life. Brushing and Flossing are a must for maintaining good dental health for children.
Consider Sealants. It can be hard for younger children to properly brush their teeth and it can be tiresome for parents after a time. But there are options to help protect your child’s teeth against those occasional brushed areas that get missed. For healthy kids’ teeth, talk to your dentist about the option of having your child’s teeth sealed. The clear sealant will add an extra layer of protection and is especially helpful on the hard to reach back molar teeth.
Use Rewards. Involve the child as much as possible and let them be in control of their dental care routine where possible and appropriate. Let them have input into their toothbrush and toothpaste. Give them rewards each week they brush and floss like they should. Track their progress on a chart. And always tell them how proud you are and what a good job they are doing. Words of praise and encouragement and the occasional reward can really make dental health for children easier.
Don’t share germs. Another way to ensure you are on track and doing all you can to keep dental health for children at the top of your list is to avoid sharing germs with other kids. Don’t share utensils, sippy cups, bottles, pacifiers or other items with your kids or allow them to be shared with others. The human mouth is full of bacteria and these can often lead to dental issues like paquebot can also cause infections and lead to illnesses like thrush and foot and mouth disease.
Make it a family affair. The final way to ensure you are always focused on dental health for children in your family is to make daily dental care a family affair. Make it something you do as a family. And set up family dental appointments when possible so your child sees you doing the same things they are. If you need a family dentist to take care of your child’s oral health and dental needs, then call Comfort Care Family Dental today and we will take care of your entire family! Comfort Care Family Dental P.C.
1001 E Chicago Ave #143, Naperville, IL 60540