The habitual nature of humans is a curious thing. Even more curious in children. Helping your child to develop healthy dental habits can be exhaustive. The best trick is to understand that it is never too early to start to instill good routines in a child’s life. This is true especially when it comes to your child’s dental health.
Way too many of us parents think that oral hygiene isn’t as important until our kids develop their secondary or ‘permanent’ teeth. Don’t buy into this myth. Believe it or not, oral hygiene habits should be introduced even before your baby has teeth! They can start as early as birth! Don’t worry, you don’t need to be brushing and flossing your sweet newborn’s toothless smile, but there are some things you can do!
Here are some tips for creating healthy dental habits for your children:
1. Start ‘em young
Yes, start taking care of your child’s oral health even before the teeth start popping through. Simply wiping your baby’s gums and lips with a warm, wet cloth a few times a day is all you need to do at such a young age. This will help to wash away bacterias, clear dead skin cells from the lips, and familiarize your baby to an oral health routine.
2. Lead by example:
Every parent knows that kids pick up on everything. This is either the easiest or hardest part about helping your children create healthy habits. Make sure you are practicing a consistent oral health routine to show your kids how it’s done. Involve your kids in your routine. Make them a part of it at any age. Hand your baby a toothbrush to play with while they giggle at your gurgling.
3. Don’t just focus on the teeth
Oral health is heavily affected by our lifestyles. Having an all around healthy lifestyle will do so much more for your child’s oral health than you may realize. It’s obvious that a healthy diet will help to keep their growing teeth strong, but even physical activity goes a long way for a healthy mouth.
4. Floss till you drop
Sure it may take a while before your child’s teeth actually touch, but it is always good to introduce flossing early. Flossing is so important to a healthy smile and with early introduction, it can quickly become a habit.
5. Make it fun!
Routines don’t have to be boring. There are plenty of tricks to keep your child interested, but every kid is different. Here are a few fun things to try:
♦ Different flavors of toothpaste and floss
♦ A special chair, seat, or stool specifically for brushing time
♦ Listening to a fun song (this can help to make it through an entire 2 minutes of brushing)
♦ Make it a family activity
6. Dentists are friends (not food)
Last but certainly not least, make sure regular dental visits are scheduled. Kiddos should start seeing the dentist around a year of age or about 6 months after getting their first tooth.
At Eagle Rock Dental Care we offer dentistry for patients from age 1-100. We are here to be your dentist for life! While good oral hygiene starts at home, we are more than happy to help you create healthy dental habits along the way. Give us a call with any and all of your questions; and hop onto our website today to schedule your appointment!