Dental health is essential to overall health, and many dental problems are completely avoidable. According to NYC Health, about 50% of people between the ages of six and 19 have tooth decay. Instilling proper dental hygiene can help children avoid problems like this, as well as painful cavities. Here are some tips for parents to keep in mind.
1. Start Early
Setting your child on the right path involves taking care of their oral health from the very beginning. Infants without teeth should have their gums gently wiped with a soft cloth daily. As teeth emerge, you should brush them for your child. The first visit to the dentist should be at around one year of age after the teeth have come in. Your child’s dentist can provide you with valuable advice regarding how to best care for their teeth.
2. Model Good Behavior
Modeling the behavior you expect from your child can be a powerful tool in teaching them about oral hygiene. Let your child see you brushing and flossing. You can make these activities a family event where you all gather in front of the sink together. As you demonstrate the behavior you want from your child, talk about all the advantages of brushing and flossing. Explain to your child that keeping their teeth healthy and strong is important if they want to enjoy their favorite foods.
3. Use Technology
It’s easier than ever to find technology supporting good oral health practices today. As a parent, it’s wise to take advantage of this technology. Watch age-appropriate videos with your child that share information about the importance of oral health. Set alarms to help your child stay on track with brushing and flossing. Use timers to ensure they are brushing and flossing long enough. You can also invest in special oral health care tools designed for children. For example, a fun interactive toothbrush can encourage little ones to care for their teeth.
Helping your child understand the importance of habits like brushing and flossing can be challenging, but it’s critical to make good oral health a priority. Partnering with the right dentist will help get your child on the right track. Contact Encino Friendly Dental Center today if you’re ready to schedule a dental appointment for your child!