February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so now is a good time to check in with your family and make sure your kids are taking good care of their teeth. Keep in mind, when your child is young, they are uniquely receptive to picking up habits, so make sure you expose them to good ones!
To get you started, the team at Discovery Kids Dental has put together this guide for parents looking to instill good dental hygiene habits in their children.
A Guide to Children’s Oral Health
Believe it or not, your child’s oral health regimen starts before their teeth even grow in! From the very first day of life, it’s important that you wipe your baby’s gums every day with gauze. After their teeth begin to emerge, you can switch to a soft-bristled brush, one specifically made for children, that you use to brush your child’s teeth twice a day.
Some other good practices for children’s oral health:
- Take your child to the dentist for a professional cleaning every 6 months.
- Teach your child the importance of flossing, and make sure they are flossing daily.
- Make sure your child eats a balanced mix of veggies, fruits, complex carbs, and proteins.
- Soon after your child’s first tooth appears, take them to the dentist.
- Supervise your child while they floss, and make sure they reach the back molars.
- Ensure that your child brushes twice daily. Make sure that if your child is younger than 6, he or she is only getting a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Keep your child interested. Children have famously short attention spans, and brushing gets boring. It’s best to keep it fresh.
Ways to Keep Kids Excited About Dental Health
- Make it fun with a song or activity. Songs, cartoons, or crafts about teeth can get your little one excited about brushing. Try these to get started.
- Use fun tools. Kids’ toothbrushes are available in a range of cartoon characters, find your child’s favorite. You may also opt for a kids toothpaste in a yummy flavor, like watermelon.
- Live your advice. Stay on top of your own oral health and lead by example.
- Offer an incentive. Reward your child with a fun outing to the movies or choosing a healthy meal to cook together at home.
Keep Up the Good Work!
Remember, Children’s Dental Health Month is only one month out of the year, but your child’s teeth should last a lifetime with proper care. Keep the good oral health going for the whole year.