Teaching Children Good Oral Health
At Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry, we want to help our parents understand how to teach their children good oral health from an early age. In fact, we can provide tips and ideas even to make brushing and flossing fun! Introducing proper techniques and establishing a good habit young will result in healthier teeth longer. With more education and information, increasingly children are reaching adulthood without ever experiencing a cavity, and we can guide you to help your children be a part of that growing number.
At what age do I start dental care for my child?
There is no real age that you begin dental care, it is something that we want you to do from the very beginning. Even in the womb, your child is beginning their oral health. The choices of foods you consume while pregnant can make a difference. Mothers who have plenty of calcium and vitamin D while pregnant are helping their babies grow stronger teeth.
Once your baby is born, we want you to begin your habit of considering their teeth, even though they have not come in. Some tips for parents with babies include:
||Cleaning: Daily wipe their gums with a clean soft damp cloth. This step will remove any debris, help your child become used to you cleaning their mouth and establish a habit in the parent to daily think of their childs teeth and gums.
|| Avoid Unnecessary Foods and Drinks: There are many reasons a parent may hear or think that their baby needs sugary foods or drinks, they do not. It is best to avoid foods that contain sugar, even if the product is labeled for babies, it is unnecessary. There are many options for babies first foods, choose wisely.
Helping your Children Brush
We recommend that a parent be present when children brush until at least the age of seven. Parents may need to brush for their child, demonstrate the technique, and ensure that the job was done correctly.
Smaller children generally require a child-sized toothbrush; there is also kid’s toothpaste that is milder in flavor. A tube of toothpaste should last you for several months; children need just a small swipe of it on their brush. When brushing, have your child angle the brush toward the gumline to remove any plaque that has accumulated. We want your child to brush for two minutes, about 30 seconds per quadrant. You can make this time fun by having them hum or think of a song, or maybe you can even sing to them.
After they have brushed, we would like your child to floss, even if their young teeth are still spaced quite a bit apart. This can help remove any stuck debris, but also helps your child establish a habit. There are multiple flossing options, from the traditional thread to flossing sticks, and more. See what options are available where you shop.
We want your child to grow up with the thought that dental care has always been part of their schedule, you can help grow and foster that idea. From sticker charts to teaching them why brushing is good for their health, how a parent supports dental health will significantly impact their child’s lifelong oral care.