Cookies, candy, and juice–children love their sweets; what they don’t love is taking care of their teeth afterwards. Although each tooth will eventually fall out to make room for their adult teeth, it is still important to get them in the habit of good oral hygiene.
Before your child’s first teeth appear, wiping their gums with a damp washcloth after feeding can help keep their mouths healthy and prevent bacteria from building up. When your child’s teeth start surfacing, they should start seeing the dentist regularly to make sure that each tooth is coming in properly and assess any issues which may crop up. This might help your child become more comfortable with having a dentist examine their mouths and develop a trusting relationship with their doctor.
Making it a habit for your children to brush twice a day and eventually work their way up to flossing can help ward off cavities and inspire them into a lifetime good of oral hygiene. Until your child is around eight, they will likely require adult supervision or assistance when brushing. It is important to stress the need for taking care of oneself, and explaining what can happen when you don’t brush.
When your child starts heading into the dentist on a regular basis, ask about sealants. These coverings are essentially a plastic seal placed onto molars to help ward off stains and cavities. They coat the bumpy textures of the molars, making it less likely for food to get stuck and harder for decay to take place. These procedures are often covered by most dental insurance policies, and are a safe measure for preventative care.
Keeping your child’s mouth clean and cared for contributes to their overall health, instilling good hygiene habits can be a lifelong best practice.