Oral hygiene begins right away. It’s never too early to start caring for your baby’s mouth or for children to start forming good habits. The way your child cares for their teeth now will create a foundation for their future.
As soon as your child is born, you need to start caring for their teeth. After your baby finishes feeding, wipe their gums with a soft cloth or rag to clear away any milk. Once pearly whites begin to make appearances, brush teeth twice daily with a soft bristled brush designed for young children. Additional points for keeping kids’ teeth healthy include:
- Eating a balanced meal that is low in starch and sugar.
- Using a pea-sized amount (if child is under 6) of fluoride toothpaste to brush teeth twice a day.
- Flossing daily.
- Staying conscious of tarter, a substance that sticks on teeth after plaque has hardened. This can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning.
- Scheduling twice annual dental checkups, beginning six months after you see your child’s first tooth.
- Supervising children’s brushing, ensuring that their back molars are being cleaned.
Just taking care of children’s teeth isn’t enough to cement a healthy habit. Getting them excited about keeping their teeth clean will drastically improve the results of these techniques. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of ways to pique children’s interest in dental hygiene.
Get Your Child Interested in Oral Health!
- Sing-Alongs: Find fun songs online that you and your child can sing together while getting ready. Here is a playlist to get you started.
- Fun Supplies: Allow your child to choose their own toothbrushing supplies. Brushing with strawberry toothpaste or using their own super hero toothbrush will create excitement around brushing.
- Reward a Job Well Done: Create a chart or calendar for your child to mark off every day they remember to brush their teeth. After they have brushed their teeth consistently for a stretch of time, offer a special reward like a trip to the park, a certificate, or an outing with a friend.
- Set an Example: Kids learn by imitating. Talk frequently about how much fun toothbrushing can be, and they will want to see what the hype is about.
- Teeth Activities: See what type of creative activities you can come up with. Crafts and games will help a child to associate brushing with positive ideas.
These Techniques Should Last All Year
February is Children’s Dental Health Month, but teeth last a lifetime. Encourage your child to keep teeth healthy all year. This is the first step to maintaining a healthy smile for life.