1) Love Your Dentist Office: Pick a dental home for your child, once they get their first tooth or have their first birthday. A first checkup should include a quick look at the teeth and gums and a gentle brush. Prepare kids for their first visit by reading books, watching videos or having a short chat. Kids are less fearful when they know what to expect. Regular dentist visits are important for oral health and to establish the habit of regular professional care.
2) Love to Brush: Instill in your kids a love of brushing. Create the twice-daily routine as a positive and fun experience. Most kids need help until about 7 or 8 years old. Brush together or sing a song for approximately two minutes. Take turns brushing – let them try first and then go over it, or vice versa. If kids are under 3, brush with just a smear of toothpaste. If they are 3-6, use a pea-size amount. Reinforce the correct way to clean both teeth and gums by watching videos and reading books together.
3) Love your Healthy Treats:
Carefully consider the types of snacks you feed your kids. Healthy snacks include foods like fruits, nuts and vegetables. Carb-heavy, sugary or highly processed snacks like candy bars, hard candies, sugar cereals and the like can lead to a higher incidence of decay over time. Eating whole food snacks is healthier for your body and your teeth. Try to limit sticky and sugary sweets to build good habits and protect your kids’ health.
4) Love your Water: Avoid sugary drinks like sodas, flavored and sweetened milks, or juices. Don’t put your babies to sleep with bottles of milk. The slow dripping of sugary milk on the teeth all night, may lead to a severe type of dental decay called baby bottle tooth decay. Teach your kids to love drinking water and to drink it often. Drinking water after eating a meal or sugary snack will help rinse off some sugar and food particles still in the mouth. This practice can help reduce the risk of developing plaque and h decay.
5) Love to Floss: Once a child’s teeth grow in enough to touch each other, it’s time to teach your children how to floss. Flossing is perhaps one of the hardest habits to form. Many people do not develop the habit until they are adults or begin to experience teeth problems. The earlier the habit is formed the easier it is to maintain. Start your kids young. There are many products on the market now that make it easier to floss. Pick something together that your kids like and will use regularly.