At Virginia Center for Advanced Dentistry, children of all ages are welcome to our practice. Dr. Simon, your children’s dentist in Midlothian, loves teaching kids about good oral health. The earlier they learn good oral hygiene habits, the better their health for the future.
Oral hygiene is critical to your child’s overall health. All children need healthy teeth to speak, eat, and smile comfortably. A children’s dentist recommends starting good oral hygiene habits as early as possible in childhood.
But how do you teach children the importance of caring for their teeth? Below are six tips we’ve compiled to get you off to a good start.
1. Supervise Them
The younger the child is, the more supervision they will need. As a parent, you need to ensure they’re not only brushing their teeth twice a day, but doing so correctly. Watch them, give them pointers along the way, and step in when needed to clean up spots they may have missed.
2. Morning and Bedtime Routines
Making good oral hygiene part of a morning or bedtime routine will feel very natural. Have your children brush their teeth at the same time in their routine. For example, it can be the last thing they do before jumping into bed and before heading out the door in the morning. Regardless of how busy you are, your children should never skip this part of the routine!
3. Help Your Child Floss
Flossing is equally as important as brushing. Unfortunately, it is a more challenging routine to establish due to the difficulty of maneuvering. Start by demonstrating on your own teeth. Then, help them guide the floss into position in their mouths.
Consider using flossing picks, as they may be easier for little hands. Help your children floss the back, hard-to-reach teeth for them until they grow more comfortable doing so on their own.
4. Encourage Healthy Food Choices
Your child’s diet is one of the essential elements to their oral health. Allowing kids unlimited amounts of sweets, juices, or other junk food won’t result in healthy pearly whites. Children who eat unhealthy, high-sugar diets when they are young tend to crave these foods in adulthood.
Instead, opt for healthy snacks, like fruit, string cheese, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and yogurt are all tooth-friendly snacks. Sweets are great for special occasions and holidays, but always in moderation.
5. Lead by Example
All children universally copy their parents to a fault. Your child watches you and looks to you as a role model. So, what better way to show them the importance of oral health than to look out for your own, too. Make a point to let them observe you brush, floss, and make healthy dietary choices, and they will follow suit.
6. Six Month Dental Appointments
Everyone, regardless of age, should be visiting their dentist’s office at least once every six months. This checkup is vital to maintaining oral health and catching problems before they start. Children often are calmer and have more fun when they visit a children’s dentist.
Dr. Simon understands that many young patients are nervous about visiting a children’s dentist. Everyone at Virginia Center for Advanced Dentistry takes extra time to ensure that our youngest patients feel comfortable and at ease. We can offer you and your child additional tooth care tips to help with at-home dental care along with many other dental services.