The future of your child’s oral health depends on the habits they learn at a young age. Dental care should start as soon as one and be regularly monitored by your dentist, especially since your children can learn oral hygiene habits quickly, and whether they are good or bad depends on you. Teaching your children to have a healthy oral care routine early can help them maintain that routine through their lives.
Your Child and Their Oral Health Habits
- Start dental visits early – It is recommended that a child has their first visit to the dentist as early as six months after they get their first teeth, or at the latest, by age three. Making sure they have regular dental appointments from a young age can help them to become more comfortable with the dentist. They will also consider dental visits as mandatory and will keep routine visits as they get older.
- Teach them to do it themselves – As soon as your child can hold a toothbrush and understand how to use it, you should start letting them brush their own teeth. While you should be checking that they are doing an adequate job, this will help them learn how to keep their teeth clean. Once they are older you can give them more steps such as flossing and using mouthwash.
- Make it fun – There are many products out there that can make brushing seem more fun. Children’s toothpastes will taste better, toothbrushes in the shape of their favorite character will be more exciting, and electric brushes that play a song until they can be done brushing will make them more likely to create better habits.
- Feed them a healthy diet – Diets that are full of sugar can cause cavities to their baby teeth which can transfer to their adult teeth. Even with good oral care, bad diets can lead to early gum disease and tooth decay.
- No pacifiers past three – While pacifiers can help calm a crying baby, they can lead to children developing bad habits such as thumb sucking. These habits may seem harmless, but prolonged pacifier usage and thumb sucking can cause teeth to shift out of position leading to speech and dental problems.
Children's Dentists in Birmingham AL
Your dentist can be your greatest ally when it comes to teaching your children good oral hygiene habits. If you live in the Birmingham, AL area and would like more hints and tips on helping your kids learn to take care of their teeth, please contact Dr. Aaron Cook and his team today!