It’s never too early to start caring for your child’s teeth. You can’t use the same oral hygiene techniques on your child that you do on your own teeth, and you need to adjust your child’s routine as they grow older. Start teaching your children to care for their teeth now, and their healthy smile will last a lifetime.
Children’s Dental Health 101
The first time your baby eats should be the first time you care for their oral health. Before teeth emerge from under the gums, any formula or milk should be wiped away using gauze or a cloth. As the first few teeth show up, brush them clean twice a day using a soft bristled brush designed for young children.
Additional methods for children’s oral care include:
- Brush two times daily. This reduces the amount of plaque that can eat away at teeth. Do your best to eliminate plaque before it morphs into tarter, a substance that only a dental professional can get rid of.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gum line.
- Double check your child’s work, making sure that they have reached their back molars.
- Within six months after the first tooth shows, start bringing your child to the dentist twice annually.
- For the first six years of your child’s life, they should only use toothpaste in a pea sized amount.
- Keep sugary and starchy foods to a minimum.
When children are excited about brushing, it will be easier for them to be dedicated to their oral health. Below, you will find five ways to help children have fun learning about oral health.
Five Ways to Get Kids Excited About Healthy Teeth
- Reward Good Brushing Habits: Use a calendar to log the number of times your child remembers to brush. After brushing consistently for a set amount of time, give them a ribbon or certificate. Some other reward options include choosing a movie to watch as a family, going on an outing to the playground, or having a friend over. Just try to avoid using candy to reward them.
- Have Fun With Brushing Supplies: Toothbrushes come in a variety of patterns and colors. Let your child select their favorite brush and toothpaste. They may look forward to brushing with watermelon or strawberry paste using a brush with their favorite movie character.
- Teeth Activities: Complete fun crafts, games and activities with your child. This is a fun way to help them associate oral hygiene with play. We love these ideas.
- Sing Along: On this playlist, you will find fun, kid-friendly songs that you and your child can sing together.
- Lead by Example: Make sure your children see you brushing your teeth every day and hear you talking about how much you love to do it! Children tend to imitate what they see and hear, so use that to your advantage.
Keep Dental Health Strong All Year Round
Just because February only comes once a year, doesn’t mean every month can’t be about dental health! Remind your child that these are year-round habits and that good dental hygiene lasts a lifetime.