In order to build a lifetime of health, it’s important to instill healthy habits in your children from a young age, and oral hygiene is no exception. February is Children’s Dental Hygiene Month, so it’s the perfect time to check-in and make sure you’re being proactive about exposing your child to proper dental health.
To give you a nudge in the right direction, 38th Modern Dental has put together this list of the best dental hygiene tips for children.
A Guide to Children’s Oral Health
Oral health should be on your radar form the day your child is born. Your doctor will likely instruct you to gently clean your baby’s gums twice a day using gauze. Once teeth start to grow in, you can ditch the gauze for a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush, which you should use to brush their teeth twice a day.
Other things you should do to take proper care of your child’s teeth include:
- Teach your child the importance of flossing, and make sure they are flossing daily.
- Soon after your child’s first tooth appears, take them to the dentist.
- Supervise your child while they floss, and make sure they reach the back molars.
- Make sure your child eats a balanced mix of veggies, fruits, complex carbs, and proteins.
- Take your child to the dentist for a professional cleaning every 6 months.
- Ensure that your child brushes twice daily. Make sure that if your child is younger than 6, he or she is only getting a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Engage your child during the oral health process. Brushing can get stale and boring quickly, so do your best to keep it fresh.
Ways to Keep Kids Excited About Dental Health
- Oral health activities. Find some tooth-related crafts, activities, or books about good oral health habits. Check out these online brushing activities to get you started.
- Jazz up the equipment. Look for a toothbrush with your kid’s favorite cartoon character on it, and look for a paste in a fun flavor, like watermelon.
- Practice what you preach. If you skip brushing and flossing and avoid the dentist, your child is going to want to do the same! Remember, your son or daughter looks to you as an example.
- Reward hard work. Incentivize your child to do a good job on their oral hygiene by rewarding them. Since giving them a sugary treat defeats the purpose, try taking them on a trip to the zoo or choosing a movie to watch as a family.
Keep the Fun Going!
Remember, it may be children’s dental health month, but dental health is important all year. Keep the tips alive to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles for your son or daughter.