From the growth of your child’s first tooth, healthy dental care should become a habit. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends starting to brush as soon as that first tooth comes in.
Here are some tips on easy things you can do every day to maintain your child’s oral health.
1. Clean the teeth from the start
Don’t wait until your child is old enough to brush his teeth on his own before teaching healthy habits. Even young babies need special gum care. You can use a soft, clean cloth to wipe the inside of their mouth with warm water, to rid food particles and decay-causing sugars. If you start to build habits when your child is young, the daily routine will get easier as he gets older.
2. Limit sugar intake
As much as possible, discourage snacking on super sweet foods or drinking very sugary drinks. The acids and sugars, even in fruit juices, can contribute to tooth decay. Encouraging other snacks such as carrots or cheese sticks early on will help your child develop a healthy appetite for food that promotes oral hygiene and a healthy body.
3. Make Brushing a united activity
In the beginning, you will have to brush the child’s teeth for them. As they get older, you can brush with them, letting them do the first minute of brushing, then you follow it up. When they are old enough, brushing teeth can still be done together, side by side. When your child sees that you also take the time to brush your own teeth, he will feel more responsible to take care of his, too.
4. Use Brushing Apps and Electric Toothbrushes
For more efficiency when brushing, you can use special electric brushes to do the job. Their ability to rotate faster and clean better will ensure that your child’s brushing routine is as good as it can be. There are dozens of brushing apps available that make oral care a fun time that kids can look forward to. Don’t forget to teach proper brushing techniques as you guide your child!
Kids can also be taught to floss. Show them how to wrap the string tightly around the fingertips, and floss between the teeth. Also, ensure that they are using the dentist’s recommended toothpaste. With fluoride to fight bacteria, but the age-appropriate product, and only a pea-sized amount each time.
Make Dental Appointments a Fun Time
Visits to the dentist don’t have to be traumatic! Find books and movies that encourage oral hygiene and regular chats with a dentist. Your child should be having regular appointments for dental maintenance.