Good parenting involves making sure your children’s teeth and gums are healthy from infancy into adulthood and begins before their first dental buds appear. So, if you’re expecting, or need a refresher to stay on track, read our blog “How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth”, and then check out more ways below to prevent unnecessary issues from occurring.
We know it is challenging for parents to resist the urge to send babies to bed with a bottle, keep sugary foods to a minimum, and make sure kids are brushing and flossing. But, New Look Dental encourages you to stay vigilant as, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease affecting six to nineteen year olds, with potential long-term effects such as speech delays and diabetes.
Oral Health Tips
To help avoid tooth decay, here are some ways to increase the fun factor while teaching your child to take care of their teeth:
- Get child-sized tools: Let your child select their own toddler toothbrushes and flossers with rounded edges, to make it easier for kids’ developing coordination, and more personal too!
- Set a good example: Brush and floss with your child twice daily for thirty days to establish a habit of good dental hygiene to last a lifetime. (Act like a mirror and have them copy what you do to learn the proper way to floss and brush.)
- Consider investing in a step stool so they can watch themselves in the mirror while they brush.
- Make it a game: Set a colorful hourglass timer for two minutes and make it a race to brush the upper and lower arches, outer and inner surfaces, and the tongue by the final grain of sand.
- Play a song: Have them to brush the entire duration of their favorite song.
- Reward them: Applaud their efforts and customize rewards based on their interests. Extra playtime or a bedtime story may work for some, while a television show will work for others. To foster self-discipline, implement a star chart where they’ll collect stars each time they brush and floss without you asking, and give them a prize when they reach their goal.
- Enlist help: Download the Brush DJ app or read a children’s book about how to take care of teeth.
- Brush on-the-go: Support brushing at preschool, child care centers and schools.
Childhood Dental Development
In addition to preventing dental decay and dental fillings, there are several other factors to consider.
When your baby starts teething, refrain from using benzocaine or lidocaine-based products and homeopathic teething tablets, as both can cause seriously harmful and potentially fatal effects. Try a chilled teething ring instead.
Next, while thumb sucking may seem cute at first, it can damage your child’s mouth. Avoid scolding as this can delay cessation of this habit, watch for triggers and address them, kindly advise them to stop, and enlist the reward system.
Getting your child to the pediatric dentist early is also instrumental in making sure that eating, speaking and chewing develop properly.
At New Look Dental, kids dental care and family dentistry are our main priorities, and we thank you for entrusting us with your family. We strive to create an environment that is warm and friendly to help make the experience at the dentist positive for everyone. We look forward to taking care of you and your kids at your next appointment.