HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO HAVE GOOD ORAL HEALTH

HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO HAVE GOOD ORAL HEALTH

Like all parents, your kid’s health and well-being is your biggest concern. Teaching your child proper teeth and gum care begins with you, so set them on track for a lifetime of exceptional oral hygiene. Here are some tips to help you teach your child the importance of excellent oral care. 

START IN INFANCY 

Your baby is born with all their teeth – but they are hidden in the gums and you just can’t see them yet. Even though most baby teeth don’t start breaking through the gums until 6 months or so, because healthy gums support healthy teeth, it’s important to a regimen of good health care before their first tooth even comes in! 

Start your infant getting used to oral hygiene care with the following tips: 

Wipe their gums with a soft washcloth after every feeding.  

Don’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. Baby bottle tooth decay can set in when an infant or toddler is allowed to suck on formula or juice for long periods of time. Take the bottle away after they finish drinking to prevent decay.  

ORAL HYGIENE FOR CHILDREN 

As your kid grows, their oral hygiene habits should grow with them. They will generally have all of their baby teeth, also called “primary teeth” by age 3. Gaps between these teeth are normal as they make room for the adult “permanent teeth” to come in. Primary teeth typically begin falling out by age 6, and most of their permanent teeth will have replaced them by age 13. 

Establishing a Good Oral Hygiene Routine for Children: 

  • Ensure your child brushes at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time and remind them to pay attention to the back teeth. 
  • Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Help your child brush and floss and monitor their progress. 
  • Begin flossing as soon as teeth touch. 
  • Do not allow them to swallow toothpaste or mouthwash. 
  • Visit a pediatric dentist every 6 months. 

ORAL HYGIENE FOR PRETEENS AND TEENS 

As your kid grows and more of their adult teeth come in, it is crucial to establish a daily dental hygiene routine in order to keep teeth and gums healthy. Preteens generally are somewhat conscious of their appearance. Because it can be difficult to keep them interested in their oral care, remind them that rigorous oral care can help them look better and feel more confident. 

Here are some tips to keep your pre-teen and teen on track: 

  • Ensure your preteen or teen brushes at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time and remind them to pay attention to the back teeth.
  • Remind them that brushing with a fluoride toothpaste not only fights cavities and strengthens their teeth but can give them the confidence of having fresh breath.  
  • Using a power toothbrush may make brushing more fun for teens. 
  • Flossing is extremely important at this point to help prevent cavities. 
  • If your teen wears braces, have them use a power toothbrush and to floss thoroughly to avoid white spots on teeth when the braces are removed. 
  • If your child plays sports, insist they wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries. 

PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CARE FOR CHILDREN 

Schedule your child’s first dental appointment after their first baby tooth appears, or before their first birthday, whichever happens first. This first visit isn’t scary, and is much like a well-baby visit with their pediatrician. Thereafter, schedule appointments every 6 months, or as their dentist recommends.

Don’t forget, your kids will also learn by watching you practicing good dental hygiene and staying on top of routine checkups, too!  For more answers to any question you may have about your child’s teeth, call the friendly professionals at Biltmore Commons Dental Care today.