How to Ensure Your Child's Teeth Remain Healthy
You may be very dedicated to practicing great oral hygiene for yourself, but it's possible that you have a more relaxed stance on it with your kids. The assumption is that baby teeth eventually come out, so any potential problems will be corrected when the adult teeth grow in. However, the truth is that kids can easily have dental problems like adults do even though they have baby teeth, and these problems can cause pain and discomfort just the same. Know how to keep their teeth healthy to avoid any potential problems early in their life.
When Should You Start Brushing Their Teeth?
A common question that parents have about their child's oral health is when they should start brushing the child's teeth. You may be surprised to learn that you should start taking care of their mouth before their first teeth come in. You don't need to use a toothbrush, since all it takes is a wet washcloth to wipe down their gums to prevent bacteria build-up. You should introduce a brush with soft bristles after their first teeth come in.
How Can You Develop Good Habits with Oral Health?
You want to take steps to promote great oral hygiene with your child, and there are couple ways you can do it at home.
Kid are great at learning something when parents model for them. Do this by brushing your own teeth at the same time as your child. They will be able to watch the techniques that you are using and start replicating them on their own over time.
Use a Timer
The proper techniques won't matter if your child brushes for 10 seconds and then puts the toothbrush down. Use a timer that is set for about 2–3 minutes to indicate how long they should be brushing for. If you make this a part of your daily routine, they will eventually come to expect how long the brushing process will take.
You can use a sticker chart to reward good brushing, with your child getting a small reward after they have successfully brushed their teeth a specific number of times. For short-term rewards to encourage better brushing, tell your child that they will earn something such as having an extra story read to them before bed. You know your child better than anyone, so make sure the reward is appropriate.
For more tips on how to keep your child's teeth healthy, speak to your family dentist about the matter.