Dental health for children is an important topic for all caregivers. Do your children balk when it comes time to brush their teeth? Do you know when to take your child to the dentist for the first time? What is the best way to prepare your child for the whirring machinery, sharp instruments and a stranger telling him or her to “open wide”?
In today’s blog, Dr. Angela S. Evanson DDS will outline several ways to teach your young children good dental hygiene at home and foster ways to feel comfortable with dental treatment.
Develop Strategies That Encourage Good Oral Habits
Although young children may not understand the importance of dental health, parents can develop strategies that encourage good habits.
- Start when your child is young. Even before your baby has teeth, you should introduce the concept of oral hygiene by gently cleaning their gums with moist gauze or a washcloth. When the first tooth appears, you should begin brushing it for your child. Baby teeth are important to their lifelong oral health!
- Begin taking your child to the dentist when the first tooth erupts, and dental check-ups will become part of their normal routine. It’s important for your child to be familiar with the environment, sounds and dental tools. Dental check-ups are also a good place for parents to learn how to care for their children’s teeth.
- Always talk about visits to Dr. Evanson in positive terms, and be sure to visit her regularly so that your child sees this as part of their normal routine.
- Toddlers should learn to brush and floss their teeth properly so they establish good habits in caring for their dental health.
- Make brushing their teeth fun! Child-sized toothbrushes come in fun colors and designs with various images of favorite cartoon characters or animals. You will need to help them brush their teeth for the first few years, to make sure they get a thorough cleaning.
- Model the right behavior and let your children watch you brush and floss your teeth. They look up to you, and your example will go a long way in encouraging them to establish healthy habits.
- By age three, your child can start brushing their own teeth, although they will still need your help. As they become more skilled, you can let them take the responsibility for brushing under guidance.
Proper Nutrition is an Important Aspect of Good Dental Habits
Children need to know that good dental habits are more than brushing and flossing. A healthy, low sugar diet plays a big role in having a healthy mouth.
- Next to fluoridated water, milk is the best drink when it comes to the health of your teeth. Sugary juices or soda wreak havoc on a child’s teeth!
- Fruits and vegetables, cheese, nuts and yogurt are nutritious and healthy snacks.
- Crackers, pretzels and starchy foods create an acidic environment in your child’s mouth, so avoid these snacks.
- Be a role model by eating and drinking the proper things yourself.
Look Ahead to a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth
Dr. Evanson is a Family and Pediatric Dentist, and will treat your child in a gentle and compassionate way. Helping your child establish good oral health habits is easy if you are consistent and if you focus on making oral care fun and enjoyable.
Our office is located at 17167 E. Cedar Gulch Parkway #202 in Parker, Colorado with easy access to patients in the neighboring communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree. Please contact us online, or call (720) 409-0008 to make an appointment.
Your children may not thank you now, but years down the road they’ll understand what a gift you’ve given them!