The good habits that we have as adults were mostly formed when we were kids. We act according to how our parents raised us and we do things that we were taught at a young age. For example, we know that we shouldn’t eat too many sweets; otherwise, we risk damaging our teeth. We know that we should brush at least twice a day to maintain good oral health.
We learned these things as kids, and it’s important that we now pass these good oral habits down to our children. The oral health habits that they adopt now can significantly impact the development of their adult teeth.
Oral health is crucial at a young age, helping children eat, sleep, and function optimally. The ultimate goal is to prevent cavities from forming and potentially causing damage that will affect our kids until they reach adulthood.
As parents, you have to be good role models and monitor your children’s oral health. Here are some things you can do to keep your kids’ teeth healthy.
Kids don’t just learn in school. What they see, hear, and watch at home forms their initial knowledge in life. So it’s important that you take on the responsibility of teaching your kids how to practice proper oral hygiene. Teach them things like:
Children also learn through observation, and they’ll be more motivated to apply what you taught them if they see you doing it too. They’ll imitate what they see you and other members of the family doing, so make sure you’re setting a good example. Brush with your kids so that they can follow suit.
Ideally, you should be sending your kids to the dentist at least twice a year, which is every six months. For younger children, they should visit the dentist within six months after growing their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first. Make sure to set your dental appointments and don’t miss a dental checkup! Read more about how often you should take your kid to the dentist.
Your dentist knows best, especially when it comes to the proper oral health habits for your kids. There are certain treatments that can help protect your children’s teeth and prevent cavities, such as sealants. You can ask your dentist about what are the best options for your child.
It’s also important to be aware of dental habits or issues you notice in your kids so that you can tell your dentist about them. Keep a close eye out for thumb sucking, mouth guards, crowding, losing teeth, etc., and discuss these with your dentist on your next appointment.
A lot of people who grow up afraid of the dentist don’t stay on track of their dental appointments. At a young age, it’s important that you establish to your kids that going to the dentist is nothing to be afraid of. Let them know what they can expect when you get to the clinic, what the dentist will be doing and why it’s important, etc. Also, read about pain-free pediatric dentistry options to make it easier for your child.
Children are big fans of candy and sugary drinks, but too much of these can cause tooth decay and cavities. As early as now, make sure that you’re limiting their sugar intake and adopting a healthy diet to foster the development of stronger teeth.
Although your kids know that they should brush their teeth at least twice a day, actually sticking to the routine is easier said than done. It’s recommended that you brush with your children to make sure that they’re not missing a session and that they’re doing it right. Ideally, one brushing session should last at least 2 minutes.
If it’s difficult to get your kids to brush their teeth properly and frequently, consider using a reward system and give them prices for brushing their teeth. It might also be helpful to let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste flavors so that they can enjoy the routine more.
There are mobile applications that you can download and use to make brushing more fun for your kids. These can make them see brushing like a game rather than a routine, which will make it more enjoyable for them.
Establishing a good oral health routine at a young age will prove beneficial from childhood all the way to adulthood. Teach your kids good brushing techniques and healthy habits to prevent plaque buildup, reduce the risk of cavities, and foster the development of stronger, healthier teeth!