Good dental habits begin as soon as your child’s first teeth start emerging through the gums. Teaching healthy dental habits is essential, even at this young age. Of course, kids will need your help with oral hygiene for many years, but the habits you instill when they are young will last a lifetime. Here’s a step-by-step guide for instilling responsible oral health practices in your children.
Dental Care for Infants
Baby teeth are prone to decay as soon as they emerge from the gum line. You’re not likely to miss the signs of teething in your infant, which include chewing on everything, drooling, and general fussiness. This usually begins at around six months of age and continues through toddlerhood. For infants, you can use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with a rice-size bit of fluoridated toothpaste to gently brush the teeth and gums. Do this twice a day, preferably after meals.
You should schedule your child’s first dental visit before their first birthday. This will allow your child to become accustomed to the dental office, equipment, and the staff. It will also set the stage for regular dental visits as they grow.
Dental Care for Young Children
You should continue to brush your child’s teeth until they are seven or eight years old, and supervise carefully until they are reliably brushing and flossing without missing spots. Flossing can begin as soon as your child’s teeth begin to touch. Use about 18 inches of floss, and gently insert between teeth, using a back and forth motion, and then up and down around each tooth in a C shape under the gum line.
For brushing, children should use a pea-size amount of toothpaste, and brush the front, back, and chewing surface of each tooth. Here are some tips for ensuring good brushing and flossing habits in your children.
● Brush together – Even when your kids are old enough to brush their own teeth, you can demonstrate proper techniques and good habits by brushing and flossing your teeth at the same time.
● Set a timer – Aim for two minutes of brushing in the morning and at night.
● Play games – Games of pretend can be helpful for getting small children to brush. They can pretend that the toothbrush is a train going around the tooth tracks, or it’s a superhero, saving their teeth from the evil bugs that make holes in teeth.
Contact Chesterfield Woodlake Dental Today
For healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime, make sure your child sees the dentist every six months. Call the office Chesterfield Woodlake Dental today to set up an appointment.