We all know that bringing your child to the dentist can go one of two ways: it can either be an experience that they would rather forget, or one full of curiosity and fun. The truth is that the amount of fun a child has when they’re at the dentist has a lot to do with what you do with them outside of the big chair.
From day one, your child depends on you as their parent to lead them down a happy, healthy path to toothy happiness. Check out this guideline for what and when to start different dental habits with your kids:
- Make sure the last thing you do each night is brush…don’t send your kid to bed with a bottle
- Brush teeth twice a day with water and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday.
- Wipe gums with a washcloth after feeding to help get rid of the sticky plaque that causes tooth decay.
- Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and make sure your child spits it out after brushing.
- Start using fluoride toothpaste at age three.
- Try to break thumb-sucking and pacifier habits by age three.
- Start visiting your dental team every six months.
- Begin flossing as soon as teeth touch.
- Reassure your child that it’s normal for baby teeth to fall out. That’s how “grown up” teeth come in.
- Until children are able to practice proper oral health habits alone, parents should help their child brush and floss twice a day.
- Always pay special attention to the back teeth, which sometimes have more plaque.
- Require children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their smile.
- Parents can make the most of their teen’s interest in how they look by reminding them that a healthy smile and fresh breath will help them look and feel their best.
Always remember that no matter how old your child is, their dental hygiene reflects upon what you’ve taught them is best. A cavity is an uncomfortable circumstance that can be avoided with routine care, and it’s up to you to show your children what’s what. Following these guidelines and working with a great dental care team like Sunshine Smiles ensures that you’re being the best parent you can be, and when they’re grown, your children will definitely thank you for making sure their teeth were always in tip-top shape. To schedule your child’s next appointment, contact Sunshine Smiles today!