How to Teach Kids Dental Care and Hygiene

A common misconception about tooth decay is that it is acceptable in children. Parents often assume that because baby teeth will fall out eventually, cavities don't need immediate treatment. But, this kind of thinking is incorrect.
Just like in adults, tooth decay is painful and it can hinder your child's eating and sleeping habits. The unattractive nature of cavities can also affect your child's self-esteem. When left untreated, tooth decay results in infections that damage developing permanent teeth. Baby teeth that fall out due to decay cause permanent teeth to grow crooked.

Teaching young children, particularly toddlers, how to properly care for their teeth will help them avoid these dental problems. Instilling the value of dental care and hygiene at a young age creates the foundation for bright and beautiful smiles in the future. 

Teeth and Gum Care for Toddlers

There are no secrets to healthy gums and teeth. In truth, good oral health boils down to the basics: brushing and flossing. As your toddler continues to grow and learn, you must incorporate these practices in their daily routine. Doing so will make it easier for you to implement other changes for the betterment of their oral health.
Teach your toddler how to properly brush and floss their teeth.
Start your child’s dental routine by letting them pick out the toothbrush design and toothpaste flavor. Getting them involved in the process will make it easier for them to pick up the practices at a faster pace.
  • Help them apply the toothpaste and guide their hand in brushing their teeth.
  • Once they’re old enough to hold the toothbrush on their own, play a two-minute song to remind them how long they have to keep brushing.
  • Teach them how to gargle properly and to spit out all of the toothpaste.
  • Have them hold up a mirror so they can see how you floss their teeth. When they get older, you can let them try it on their own.
Create a balanced diet for your toddler to limit their sugar intake.
Your child's diet plays a key role in their overall dental health. Sugary food items, in particular, are the leading cause of tooth decay. What a lot of parents don't realize is that even fruits have large amounts of sugar. Creating a balanced and well-proportioned diet will enhance your child's dental health routine.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar they consume by making candies and chocolates treats for special occasions only.
  • Serve fresh fruit instead of dried fruit and limit the former to two servings a day.
  • Have your toddler drink plenty of water every time they finish eating and make it a habit. 
Schedule regular trips to the dentist.
Schedule a dentist appointment for your toddler every six months. These regular check-ups will help you keep track of your child's dental health and mitigate potential problems. Additionally, regular check-ups will make visiting the dentist less scary and uncomfortable for your child.

Teaching by Example

Your child looks up to you. When they see you practice proper oral hygiene, they learn the value in it and are encouraged to do the same. Dentists from agree that children who brush their teeth alongside their parents are more likely to practice better oral care as they grow.

Prevent permanent damage to your child's teeth by supporting them in their dental health journey. This is beneficial to both of you. Have a matching set of bright and beautiful teeth every time you smile when you practice proper dental care and hygiene.

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