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For parents, teaching children about proper oral hygiene starts early. How well your child takes care of their teeth can have a long-term effect on their health and wellness. To help your child have a brighter, healthier smile, learn how to follow Advantage Care Health Centers’ dental tips for kids.
Teaching Positive Oral Hygiene Habits to Your Child
Brushing and Flossing
Begin brushing your baby’s teeth when you see one coming in with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
Make sure to brush twice each day for two minutes. Children who are between the ages of two and six should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Always supervise kids younger than six years old while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.
Once your child’s teeth touch together, you can start flossing in between them.
Healthy Eating Habits Promote Healthy Teeth
Although they may be resistant, encourage your child to eat a wholesome diet. Avoid sugary drinks, candy, and other foods that greatly increase the risk of cavities. When sugar sits on the teeth, it can cause decay.
As you start putting our dental tips for kids into practice, consider including these types of foods and beverages in your child’s daily diet:
- Crunchy vegetables
Boosting Fluoride Levels
Using fluoride regularly strengthens the enamel. When the enamel is tough, it’s harder for acid to penetrate into the tooth.
Fluoride is often in the water we drink, but not always. If you drink purified water, or if your water supply is not fluoridated, talk to a health care professional about a fluoride supplement. Although many types of toothpaste contain fluoride, the amount is not enough to fully protect your child’s teeth.
Being a Good Role Model
Children naturally look up to and imitate those around them. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to promote good dental hygiene is to be a positive role model.
Make brushing and flossing a part of your family’s daily routine so that it feels less like a chore. Encourage your child to brush not only twice a day but for at least two minutes each time. Because two minutes can feel like forever for a youngster, try making a game out of it or play a fun song to help pass the time.
Scheduling Regular Dental Appointments
Be sure that your child visits the dentist at least twice a year. By scheduling and keeping regular appointments, you are making oral hygiene a priority for your family. Children should go to the dentist within six months of their first tooth and then twice a year after that.
Regular trips to the dentist also make the experience much less scary. It’s helpful to talk to your child about what they can expect at a dental appointment before going to the health center.
When you go to your local health center, mention any concerns you may have, including:
- Thumb sucking
- Tooth crowding
- Losing teeth
Consult Your Health Center for More Dental Tips for Kids
February, which is National Children’s Dental Health Month, is a great time to get started with practicing Advantage Care Health Centers’ dental tips for kids. By making them a priority in your daily routine, your family can enjoy the rewards of a healthy smile.
If you have questions about your children’s dental health, contact us today. We provide affordable dental health services to all members of the community, regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay.
Request an appointment today to get started.