Teaching your kids dental hygiene is one of the great ways to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. But this is more than just a battle of wills. Your kids may have different preferences and desires, so you’ll need to find which tactics work best for your family. It’s also one of the easiest ways to teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Here are a few dental hygiene practices that you should teach your kids.
1. Teach them How to Brush Their Teeth Properly
The first step in teaching good dental hygiene is ensuring your kids brush their teeth properly. This will include showing them how to brush their teeth twice a day. Teach your children how to use gentle up-down motions to ensure they touch their gum line.
They mustn’t use too much pressure to avoid damaging the gums. You should also teach them to brush their tongues, spit out the toothpaste, and use clean water to rinse their mouth after they are done. They should do this twice per day.
2. Teach Them How to Floss Their Teeth
Flossing is one of the most effective ways to keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. It keeps your gums in good shape and helps prevent cavities. Flossing also helps to remove plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Teach your kids how to floss the right way by first demonstrating it yourself. Show them how to wrap the floss around each tooth and then pull it out gently. You should do this once per day as well. If you don’t floss regularly, you are highly susceptible to developing tooth decay.
3. Encouraging Healthy Eating
The foods eaten by your child significantly impact their oral health. So, it’s crucial to teach them that foods that contain too much sugar or acid can adversely affect their dental health in the long run.
Sugary food often caries bacteria and leads to plaque formation, which hardens into tartar in the mouth.
Further, acidic foods might leave acidic residue on your child’s teeth leading to tooth enamel erosion. The acid erodes the hard substance of a tooth, making it lose its surface or become soft, thus being susceptible to dental erosion.
Some of these sugary foods include candies, sodas, pastries, and other sweets. Whenever you can, replace them with healthier alternatives such as fruits and protein bars. If you love giving treats to your children once in a while, please do it in moderation!
4. Visiting a Dentist Frequently
Your kids must get accustomed to visiting the dentist early in their lives. Taking your child to a dentist helps to detect problems early.
Making sure to take children to a pediatric dentist will minimize their chances of having tooth decay or cavities. Visit the dentist at least every six months. It will help your kids to overcome dental anxiety at an early age.
If you’re uncomfortable taking your kids to the dentist, make an appointment with your orthodontist.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you start taking your children to the dentist at age one. This will ensure your child has the correct oral development. This early dental health check also lets you properly address any problems.
5. Changing their Toothbrush Regularly
A toothbrush often becomes ineffective at cleaning your teeth as it gets old. As such, it’s important to change it regularly to maintain the effectiveness of cleaning your child’s teeth.
Your child’s current toothbrush might also have accumulated some plaque and other nasty stuff in the bristles. So it’s important to change the brush every 3 months at least to make sure they don’t spread any bacteria.
To help your kids know when to replace their toothbrushes, consider keeping them in a special holder, so it’s easy to find them. You can also put stickers on their toothbrushes that indicate when they are due for a new one.
Overall, giving your kids the gift of good dental hygiene is one of the most effective ways to give them a healthy start in life. By doing so, you can teach them how to maintain good dental health and prevent problems in the future.
Some of the best practices you can teach them to include how to brush and floss their teeth, consuming healthy foods, regularly visiting the dentist, and changing their toothbrushes.
Investing your time focusing on your child’s dental health will go a long way in helping them have healthy teeth, resulting in a great smile.
McKenzie Jones is your typical Midwestern gal. When she is not writing or reading, she can be found training for her next half-marathon, baking something sweet, playing her guitar, or cuddling up with her golden retriever, Cooper. She loves watching football, the fall weather, and long road trips. The foods eaten by your child significantly impact their oral health. So, it’s crucial to teach them that foods that contain too much sugar or acid can adversely affect their dental health in the long run.