As a parent, you can play a vital role in helping your child develop good habits for dental hygiene that will follow them into adulthood. Good oral health can impact the overall health of any person, making it extremely important to help children establish a good foundation in maintaining their dental hygiene.
Why A Child’s Oral Hygiene Is Important
Although baby teeth eventually fall out, it is still important to care for them through good dental hygiene habits. Baby teeth help to hold the space for permanent teeth in a child’s mouth, with proper care children will have a healthy mouth ready for when permanent teeth arrive. Teaching your child the proper way to care for their teeth will help to prevent decay and other oral issues such as gum disease and pain or difficulty with chewing or even sleeping. In addition, to making sure your child’s mouth is healthy, good dental hygiene can also help to maintain the appearance of your child’s smile helping them to avoid feeling self-conscious when they talk or smile.
Parents Should Set The Example
Young children will not understand the importance of brushing their teeth and regular dentist appointments. The most effective ways to teach a child good oral hygiene habits is for parents to set a positive example. Children will imitate their parent’s habits, so it’s essential to project both the importance of regular dental care and the actions that will make it happen. As children watch their parents brush their teeth and notice parents going to their dentist appointments, they will adopt the same habits. Parents should encourage children to brush their teeth, but they should also make it a requirement. If given a choice, children are highly likely to skip a brushing potentially leading to a habit of missed brushings. Be careful to monitor and supervise that your child is brushing their teeth, and brushing them well.
Caring For Your Infant’s Teeth
Many parents don’t realize that they should begin oral health care for their child even before their first tooth appears. Cleaning an infant’s gums with a soft damp washcloth or gauze pad can help to stimulate their gum tissue and even remove food for infants that are already eating solids. When an infant gets their first tooth, parents should begin to gently brush their teeth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing their teeth twice a day with a tiny amount of infant toothpaste or at least with water. Parents should brush their children’s teeth until about the age of two, after which they should encourage and help them to brush their own teeth.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits To Encourage
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 50 percent of children under the age of 12 have had level of tooth decay. While tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases, parents can help to significantly reduce their child’s risk by helping them to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as:
- Brushing twice a day making sure to help young children and then teaching them to do so on their own as they get older
- Scheduling routine dental checkups and cleanings – a child’s first dentist appointment should be made around their first birthday and then every six months after that
- Encouraging a healthy diet low in sugary drinks and foods
Adaven Children’s Dentistry
2843 St. Rose Pkwy Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89052
Phone: (702) 492-1955