Every parent wants the very best for their children. We make sure they eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and encourage healthy habits that keep them feeling their best. However, there is one aspect of a child’s health that often slips past a parent’s eyes: kid’s oral hygiene.
Plaque, cavities, and tooth decay can occur in children’s mouths even if they brush their teeth every day. In fact, the CDC reports that about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 have at least one decayed tooth! The best way to prevent these issues for your little one is to improve their oral hygiene habits.
The Importance of Healthy Habits
Children’s teeth do much more than make their smiles adorable (though they certainly do that, too). Baby teeth are instrumental in helping children chew solid foods, and they help your child as he or she learns to speak clearly.
For these reasons, it is important to teach young children to care for their teeth as soon as possible. If you teach healthy habits when your kids are young, they’ll be less likely to suffer from cavities and tooth decay. Additionally, these habits usually continue into adulthood, ensuring that your children always have beautiful, healthy smiles.
How You Can Help
The dentist will always give your child’s teeth a good cleaning when he or she visits their office. However, a kid’s oral hygiene habits need to start at home – which means you need to be your child’s teacher. Here are a few tips to help improve your kid’s teeth:
Everyone should practice good oral hygiene from day one – in other words, from their very first tooth. As soon as your little one starts teething, you should be taking care of their baby pearly whites. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush, a small smear of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice), and scrub your baby’s teeth at least twice each day.
Take Two Minutes
Life with kids is always hectic. Most parents feel like they are constantly running after their kids, trying to keep up! Because of this, it can be easy to rush through everyday activities – but you should NEVER rush through brushing your teeth. Set a timer and make sure your child is brushing his or her teeth for two full minutes twice each day.
Practice Proper Technique
Most dentists agree that good oral hygiene is all about the technique. If you (or your child) don’t brush their teeth properly, it won’t matter how often they brush them at all! When you teach your child to brush their teeth, make sure they do it properly: with short, gentle strokes, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. Make sure they brush all sides of each tooth, and that they use floss to clean those hard to reach places.
Eat Healthy Snacks
A healthy diet offers kids many benefits, from strong muscles and bones to more energy for playing. However, healthy foods are especially great for your child’s teeth! Calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and nuts make teeth nice and strong. The vitamin C in citrus, broccoli, and spinach helps promote healthy gums. And the more water your little one drinks, the more likely they are to wash away bacteria that could cause tooth decay.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Finally, it is very important that your child sees the dentist at least twice each year. The dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums, making sure that he or she is practicing good habits. With proper care and regular exams, your little one will have a healthy smile for life!
At Fairview Dental Group, we provide you and your child with the best family dentistry services in the Westmont, IL area. To schedule an appointment for your child, call our office today!