Every day across America, parents have to remind children to brush their teeth. That’s because parents know that teeth brushing is essential to a child’s health. Even though their teeth may not be fully in, will lose their “baby teeth” and might not like it, children must learn to brush and floss to help them build their own healthy habits and routines as they grow into their adult years.
How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Taking your child to the dentist by their first birthday for preventative care can save you money in the long run. Because children are often afraid of the unknown, getting a child accustomed to the dentist early on can start a lifelong relationship with the dentist and good oral hygiene. Good habits can also be formed as your child learns how to use a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Soft thistle toothbrushes are recommended for your child’s first toothbrush; replacing brushes every three or four months can ensure proper sanitation. By starting these habits at an early age, children are likely to build a routine around brushing their teeth and will have been taught the importance in doing so. Don’t forget to remind youngsters that brushing their teeth is as important as washing their hands!
The Importance of Flossing
Flossing can begin when children are around 2 to 3 years old. By the ages of 8 to 10, they should be able to do it by themselves. Brushing teeth isn’t enough to remove all the plaque that can form on teeth and—more importantly—between teeth. Keeping teeth free from plaque buildup can stop cavities before they begin. Promoting the use of floss during a child’s early years can result in a lifetime of clean and healthy teeth and gums. If you’re unsure of how to provide a good technique for flossing, call Dr. Brei’s staff and they’ll be happy to give you some direction.
Encourage Healthy Teeth
Cutting back on dietary sugar is not only beneficial for children’s teeth, but for their health as well. Check out your child’s favorite juice and look at the sugar content. Removing foods or treats that are high in sugar is a great way to supplement brushing and flossing for even healthier teeth and gums.
Getting children to brush their teeth could be easy or could be a daily struggle. Encourage an oral hygiene routine with a personalized chart for brushing—kids love a feeling of accomplishment and a chart displaying their daily achievement will encourage them to establish a habit of regular oral care. If your child just simply doesn’t want to brush their teeth, try a teeth brushing game!
Because each child is different, a parent might need to take a few extra steps in ensuring their health. Remember: don’t lose patience!