Dental Hygiene for Children
It’s important for parents, aided by dentists, teachers, and other caregivers, to teach proper dental hygiene for children. The goal is to teach lifelong effective habits that will not only minimize dental problems but promote good general health as well. Good dental hygiene for children (or anyone, really) looks like this:
Dental Hygiene for Children: The Basics
Brushing and Flossing
Kids should brush and floss twice a day. Brushing should last a minimum of two minutes and reach all surfaces of the teeth and tongue. Flossing should always reach the spaces between all teeth.
If children are under the age of two, parents should brush and floss for them.
Regular Dental Visits
Once the teeth appear at around age one, children, like adults, should see a dentist twice a year. The dentist will find and treat problems before they become more serious and also encourage the good oral hygiene routine parents are trying to promote.
Everyone knows that sugar can lead to tooth decay. But not everyone is aware that, like candy and soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks, while healthy in some respects, can also be problematic in this regard. The sugar they contain can eat away the enamel on children’s teeth.
It’s sometimes difficult to eliminate such drinks entirely, but most parents find it practical to move toward an even balance of sugary drinks and water. The water washes away some of the leftover sugar and can also help to shift a child away from a frequent craving for sweets. An added bonus is that most people benefit from drinking more water.
Obviously, simply sharing these pointers is one thing. Getting kids to follow the advice requires more. Parents who succeed in teaching the essentials of dental hygiene for children often use these methods:
Teaching Dental Hygiene for Children
Parents can’t make sure kids are brushing and flossing properly unless they’re there to watch. To this end, it’s a good idea for parents and children to brush and floss together, preferably in the morning and evening both, but if that’s not practical at least in the evening.
Brushing and flossing at the same time as the kids also allow parents to put the second teaching principle into practice.
Modeling Proper Oral Hygiene
Nothing is likelier to teach children proper dental hygiene for children than setting the kids a good example. Accordingly, parents should make sure they don’t stint on their own brushing and flossing, to influence their children and, of course, to look after their own oral health as well.
Similarly, parents shouldn’t put off or skip their own dental appointments. If the adults in their lives seem afraid of the dentist, kids are likely to decide they should be afraid, too, and have problems because of it in the long run.
Make It Fun
Charting brushing and flossing will help turn dental hygiene into a game while enabling parents to keep track of and reward progress along the way. As the kids grow older and oral hygiene becomes routine, the rewards will no longer be required.
By sharing the basics and using these teaching techniques, parents can develop dental hygiene habits that will benefit their children all their lives. Call us today to see why we are the name more parents in Rockford, IL trust when it comes to taking care of their children’s teeth!