How to Teach Good Dental Health Habits to Your Children
Habits — both good and bad — often start at an early age for everyone. It would be nice to start your children early with good, healthy habits, right? When it comes to dental health, you can!
Practicing good oral hygiene is one of the easier habits to teach. Here are some essential dental care habits you will want to instill in your children, as well as yourself.
Practice and explain daily dental care. Good dental health habits should start even before teeth appear by wiping your baby's gums with a clean, wet cloth after every feeding. Once teeth appear, switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste until age 2, when you can increase to a pea-sized amount. As your child matures, be sure to teach them how to brush and floss for themselves, primarily by modeling the behavior for them.
Visit the dentist early. Besides daily hygiene, regular professional dental care is one of the best habits for keeping healthy teeth and gums. Plan to begin your child's dental visits by age 1 when some of their teeth may have already come in. And by starting early, it is more likely your child will view dentist appointments as a routine part of life, a habit they will most likely continue into adulthood.
Keep your oral bacteria to yourself. Many strains of bacteria, especially harmful ones, do not occur unexpectedly in a child's mouth. They come from the outside environment, often from their parents or caregivers. To avoid spreading bacteria from you to your baby avoid sharing eating utensils, do not lick a pacifier to clean it, and do not kiss infants on the mouth.
Encourage your teenager to avoid bad habits. Hopefully, when your children reach adolescence, they have already developed good dental habits. But, there are some bad habits you should help your teen avoid. While piercings are popular among this age group, teens should avoid tongue and lip bolts and other piercings that could damage their teeth. A tobacco habit can also have damaging consequences for dental health including increased tooth decay or gum disease.
Posted on: Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Last modified on: Tuesday, August 21, 2018