Good oral hygiene starts during childhood years. The earlier you can help your children establish and maintain a strong oral hygiene routine, the better!
Getting this regiment in place at a young age minimizes dental issues and increases the likelihood that your kids will stick with their oral hygiene routines as they grow older. The following details just a few things that you can be doing as a parent to help protect your kids’ teeth.
Consistency at home
Kids should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. It is easy to assume that because your children are brushing and flossing independently that they’re doing a good job. Until kids reach age 11 or 12, you should be overseeing these routines and offering tips to help them improve their technique as needed.
Limited sugary drinks and snacks
Make water a readily available option at home and on the go by keeping a full pitcher of purified water in the refrigerator and water bottles in the car. Offer healthy, delicious snacks including fruit, vegetables, cheese, whole wheat crackers, and rice cakes.
Soda should be an occasional treat. When your children do drink soda, encourage them to use straws and rinse their mouths out with water afterward. Educate them about these food and drink options, so that they know why they should be making choices that are good for their teeth.
Regular dental checkups
A child can start visiting the dentist within six months of cutting his first tooth or around his first birthday. Establish a solid relationship with a dentist who works well with children to help your kids feel comfortable at the dentist. Then schedule regular six month checkups so that the dentist can detect problems early including cavities and the need for orthodontics.