Teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits when they’re young will have an important impact on their health for the rest of their lives. But it can be hard to know exactly what the best practices are.
We’ve got a few great tips on how to start kids off on the right path when it comes to their oral hygiene, and how to get them excited about this new routine.
1. Regular Dentist Visits
Your child’s first dentist visit should be timed with his or her first tooth, usually between 6-12 months.
After that, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check-up every six months as the best way to prevent dental problems, including cavities.
By preparing for each appointment and finding ways to make it a positive experience for your child, you’ll be setting them up for life.
2. Picking the Right Toothbrush…
There is a surprisingly large selection of toothbrushes available, and it can be hard to know which one is best, especially for kids who may not have their permanent teeth yet.
As a simple rule, you want to make sure that your child is using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, which will work best for tiny teeth. There are toothbrushes designed specifically for infants, so look for those if you have a small baby at home.
3. …And Replacing It at the Right Time
When your child’s toothbrush start to show fraying or bent bristles, it’s time for a replacement.
Typically this will happen around three months, but keep any eye out for it to occur sooner. Let them pick out their replacement brush and they’ll feel more attached to the oral hygiene process.
4. Flossing Everyday
Flossing may seem like an extra step to good oral hygiene, but it’s actually just as important as brushing your teeth.
Plaque can build up along the gum line and in between teeth just as easily as it can on top of teeth. Flossing is the only way to be sure that certain areas of the gums are getting cleaned.
Flossing is best done once daily, so build some time into your child’s morning or nighttime routine to dedicate to it. Helping them develop this habit when they’re young will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
5. Eating for Health
The foods we eat have a big impact on our overall oral health, and fortunately, many of kids’ favorites make the list.
Snacks like apples and raisins can help neutralize bacteria, while a fruit like strawberries can prevent discoloration.
6. Get Kids Involved in Their Oral Hygiene
Letting kids take ownership and responsibility for their oral hygiene habits is a great way to make sure the good behavior sticks.
Help them get excited about their mouth health with fun games and activities designed to teach and inform. The more kids practice, the more pride they’ll take in their mouth health, no matter how old they get.
Curious about other healthy habits or want to schedule an appointment for your child? Contact us today!