February is Children’s Dental Health Month, so there’s no better time than now to make sure you’re teaching your children how to take good care of their teeth and gums. Did you now that tooth decay is the most common disease among children? It’s true—some 43 percent of children in the United States have cavities, according to a 2018 study from the Center for Disease Control. A dentist in Clintonville can help you teach your children about oral health. Continue reading for some tips on how to instill dental hygiene habits from a young age.
Be a Good Example
You’ve heard the expression, “monkey see, monkey do.” Well, if you want your little monkeys to brush their teeth, then let them see you brushing. And don’t forget to floss, too. When kids see mom and dad taking care of their teeth, they’ll want to do the same.
By the same token, show your children how to make healthy food choices that help to strengthen teeth. Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and proteins are foods you should both be eating.
Get an Early Start
Even babies that don’t have teeth yet need oral health care. After a feeding, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth. And when that first tooth arrives, it’s time to start brushing with a soft brush and warm water. You can hold off on using toothpaste until your child knows how to spit around the age of two or three.
Lots of little ones want to brush their own teeth and that’s fine. Just make sure you brush their teeth again after they’ve finished. Around the age of six or seven, children should be able to brush on their own with supervision.
Choosing a Toothbrush and Toothpaste
This is one shopping trip that you should definitely take with your kids. There’s no reason why they can’t choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste as long as each have the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.
Stickers and Stars
Let’s face it—telling a child that he needs to take care of his teeth now so he has them in his old age is not exactly going to be the best motivation. Kids need something tangible, so try offering a reward like a sticker on a chart. Then, when they’ve accumulated a certain number of stickers, give them a predetermined reward.
See the Dentist
Children need to see the dentist just like their parents. An initial visit should be scheduled by the time they are one year old. Regular checkups can begin between the age of two and three. Starting young allows a child to get accustomed to visiting the dentist, and they are more likely to continue the habit into adulthood.
If you have any questions about your child’s smile, or if you need to schedule an appointment, please contact a dentistin Clintonville.
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Considered an authority in the field of dental health, he is also a faculty member at Spear Education. He enjoys helping parents provide the best in oral health care for their children, and he can be reached for more information through his website.