If you love seeing your kids smile, the best way to keep their pearly whites shining is to instill dental hygiene best practices in them when they are young. Along with your dentist, monitor their teeth to make sure they are properly taken care of and offer gentle corrections. The guide below gives tips for inspiring your son or daughter to watch out for their own oral health.
Show your child how to brush.
As soon as your child is old enough to maneuver a toothbrush, help them practice brushing their own teeth. Demonstrate how to clean up and down, back and forth, and in a circular motion, paying particular attention to reaching the back teeth.
Take them to the dentist.
The earlier your child begins going to the dentist, the more normal and less intimidating dental visits will seem. Start dental checkups by their first birthday and return for a check-up every six months afterward.
Make it fun.
Reinforce a healthy dental routine by turning oral hygiene into an enjoyable experience for your child. Let them pick out their own toothbrush in a bright color or featuring a favorite movie character. They can also choose a special fluoride toothpaste in a yummy flavor. Make up silly songs about teeth cleaning, or reward positive dental habits with stickers.
Allow too many sugary treats.
Sugar can lead to plaque and tooth decay, even in baby teeth. Keep healthy snacks around the house, so kids develop a taste for them. When you do let your child indulge in candy, soda, or other sweet treats, help them brush their teeth as soon as possible afterward.
Forget to have your child spit out the toothpaste.
Although toothpaste in fun flavors like watermelon or bubble gum can motivate kids to brush more often, make sure your child understands it’s not meant to be swallowed. Ingesting toothpaste can lead to an upset stomach.
At first, your child might not have the dexterity or attention span to clean their own teeth thoroughly. Be patient with them and keep encouraging them to practice. A little perseverance now can make a big difference in helping kids learn dental hygiene habits that will last them a lifetime.
Steckelberg Dental in Lincoln, NE, offers personalized dental services for the whole family. Whether your kids need a simple checkup or you are interested in cosmetic dentistry treatments, their compassionate staff will take care of your needs in their state-of-the-art facility. Call (402) 489-7800 today to schedule an appointment with a dentist or visit their website to explore their full range of services.