Photo by Makelessnoise
Did you know your children’s oral health can also affect their medical health? Here are some tips to help your children have a lifetime with a healthy smile.
It helps if brushing is as normal a habit for them as eating. Of course, our mouth won’t start grumbling if we forget to brush, so it’s up to the adults in their lives to help them make it a habit. Start from the time their first tooth erupts. With those early front teeth, you can clean them with a soft cloth. As they start getting some back teeth, it’s time to get a toothbrush. They make soft toothbrushes for babies. Some have big chunky handles, so their little hands can hold them on their own.
You brush their teeth first and then, when they’re old enough to hold the toothbrush, let them have a try. It’s good for them to develop the muscles that will help them properly move their toothbrush back and forth.
You can start flossing when their baby molars appear. Unlike when we were little, there are now flossers for children. These have handles, some with cute designs on them, to make it much easier for kiddos to get between their teeth.
Children play house. They play school. They play office. They play handyman. Why? Because they want to be just like the grown-ups they love so much. They want to do grown-up things. That gives you an advantage in their oral health care. If you want your children to brush and floss daily—do it yourself as well. but, here’s the important part: make sure they see you do it.
When it comes time for your dental check-ups, don’t make it seem like you’re about to go on the rack at the inquisition. You don’t want to give off a negative impression of dental appointments. Make it sound fun. In fact, let them come along. It’s great for them to see you getting your teeth cleaned.
When it comes to their first dental appointment, don’t wait until there is a problem with their teeth to bring them in. That sets them up for a lifetime of traumatic memories. Instead, let them come when everything is healthy. They can meet the team, learn about the equipment, and have fun getting their teeth all sparkly clean.
They don’t have to go to a pediatric dentist, but you’ll want to be sure whomever you bring them to truly enjoys caring for children. It will make it a much more pleasurable experience for both dentist and patient.
Did you know February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? The NEA has put out a bunch of resources, games, and activity sheets to help your children learn more about dental health.