The American Dental Association, or ADA, has designated February as National Children’s Dental Health Month so that kids and families can learn more about why oral health is important. Read on for important tips to keep your family’s teeth sparkling clean and healthy!
Develop Healthy Brushing Habits Early→
Dental health should begin before your child’s first teeth appear. The best way to get into the habit early on is to clean your baby’s gums twice daily using a soft cloth or a baby toothbrush. Once your baby begins to get teeth brush them with a soft baby toothbrush and water. This will remove plaque that will accumulate on the teeth. A baby’s first birthday is the best time to schedule their first dentist appointment.
Help Your Kids Learn to Brush Their Teeth Properly→
By developing these habits before kids learn to brush their teeth themselves, the importance of good dental health will already be ingrained in their day-to-day habits. You should teach your kids that brushing at least twice a day, with two minutes for each brushing, will help keep their mouths healthy (2 x 2 = Health Teeth). Don’t forget to floss too! Studies have shown that flossing is even more effective than brushing, so your kids should be sure to floss once a day as well. Also, be sure to brush the tongue, which can harbor naughty bacteria.
There are a few things that are worth nitpicking about when it comes to your children’s oral hygiene. For example, make sure that you monitor kids’ brushing habits, and until they are around 9-10 years old an adult should brush for them. As kids get older, you still need to monitor the efficacy of their brushing, and don’t hesitate to touch up their brushing yourself.
Choose the Right Toothbrush→
The right toothbrush depends on your kid’s mouth. There are plenty of fun options for kids, with shapes and characters that are sure to delight. Sonicare for Kids is a brush we often recommend, since the brushes are just the right size for little hands and mouths. The brushes have also been proven to be far more effective than other electric toothbrushes.
Motivate Kids to Brush→
Brushing teeth can actually be a lot of fun with the right motivation! Using a chart like the one we provide at George Dental can help your kids keep track of their brushing themselves – it’s fun and also helps them to form good brushing and flossing habits early on in life.
It’s also important that you make sure to keep your tone positive. If your children develop resistance to brushing their teeth, warning them about root canals and other “scary” dental procedures isn’t necessarily going to motivate them – it’s just going to scare them! After all, kids and adults should be visiting the dentist at least every 6 months, and your kids should feel comfortable with these visits.
For more information about great dental health for kids, or to schedule your appointment, contact us at George Dental today!