If you are a parent, ensuring your child’s good health is always a top priority. Making sure your children practice good oral habits starts young, and this will set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. It’s pretty easy to encourage good oral hygiene in young children.
Start Good Oral Care Habits While Children Are Young
When children are young, they will need your help with both brushing and flossing; very young children just don’t have the fine motor skills needed to do the job properly. While you are helping them, talk about why it’s so important to keep their teeth healthy. Let them watch you brush and floss as well.
As they get older, help them become a bit more independent with brushing and flossing for themselves. Make sure they are doing a thorough job. A general rule of thumb is if they have the dexterity to tie their own shoes, they have the coordination to do a good job of brushing and flossing. Dental floss picks are helpful for young children who might still struggle with using regular dental floss.
There are many dental products that are specifically designed for children. Smaller head brushes do a better job cleaning smaller mouths. There are plenty of kid-friendly toothpastes with flavors that make brushing enjoyable for kids—and encourage them to brush longer. Make sure to replace toothbrushes every three months.
Avoid Instilling a Fear of the Dentist
As your kids get older, they may try to get out of brushing their teeth. For some parents, it can be tempting to use the potential for scary dental procedures as a way to get children to brush as they should. Doing this, however, can backfire. Many dental fears develop during childhood, and these can stay with a person throughout their life.
Bringing your children along on your own trips to the dentist can help them see firsthand that there is nothing scary about the dentist. As soon as their first teeth erupt, you can bring your children for regular checkups, establishing the importance of regular visits to the dentist and helping them feel relaxed about it from a very early age.
Our Fairfax Dental Team Can Help!
Help your children develop good oral health habits that last a lifetime! If you are looking for a children's dentist in Fairfax, Va, make an appointment at Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry today!