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As a parent, you should understand the importance of good dental habits and do your best to pass them onto your children. After all, healthy adult teeth begin with healthy kid’s teeth. Keeping your child’s teeth cavity-free should be an ultimate goal. This is because poor dental health affects more than just the kid’s smile and your pocketbook.
According to a study done by California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, untreated dental issues affect a kid’s ability to sleep well, eat well, and function as expected at school and home. Besides, the unaesthetic nature of cavities and teeth decay affects a child’s social development and self-esteem. Unfortunately, these effects of unhealthy dental practices extend long after childhood. Here are seven effective oral tips for children to enjoy a healthy smile.
1. Get regular dental check-ups
One way of keeping your kid from getting tooth decay and cavities is by starting his or her dental care early. In fact, your kid should visit a pediatric dentistry center by her first birthday. Besides, you should keep a routine of seeing a dentist at least twice each year and always involve your kids. Your children will learn this from you and make it a ritual.
2. Teach the kids good oral habits
Children love to imitate those around them. So, one way of teaching your children great oral habits is by being a role model and demonstrating good oral practices. This is the reason most pediatricians recommend that you should brush and floss with your kids rather than sending them to the bathroom to clean their teeth on their own. You should also make the brushing and flossing session part of the daily routine rather than a chore.
If your kid is less than three years, teach him or her how to use a rice-sized amount of the recommended toothpaste and how to brush. Once your child learns how to spit the toothpaste rather than swallowing it, you can increase the toothpaste amount to peanut-size. When the child’s teeth have grown to the point that they touch each other, you can teach him or her how to floss daily.
3. Avoid the ‘baby bottle decay’
Avoid putting your toddler or an older kid down for a nap with a bottle of formula, milk or juice. This is because sugary liquids cling to the kid’s teeth, feeding bacteria that causes tooth decay. If you must give your kid a bottle to take to bed, ensure that it contains only water.
4. Brush and floss every day
Preventing cavities begins with a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing daily will remove dental plaque. This is a sticky film that tends to harbor food particles and unhealthy bacteria. Note that flossing is important because a toothbrush may not reach in between the kid’s teeth.
Teach your kids how to floss on both sides of every tooth even the back molars. Besides, you should make sure that your kids brush their teeth at least twice a day using a toothpaste containing fluoride.
5. Ensure that the kids take healthy foods
Avoiding too sugary drinks and foods not only helps the kids’ overall health but also creates a discussion about cavities. Certain foods and beverages aren’t friends to kids’ teeth. Some of these foods are acidic and can attach the tooth enamel and make the kids’ teeth prone to decay and cavities.
It’s worth noting that children love the sugary stuff and it’s almost impossible to keep them from taking a glass of sugary juice. Thus, teaching your kid to drink water after taking such foods is wise as water washes away the sugary debris left on the kid’s teeth. Besides, brushing and flossing daily can help.
6. Talk to your children
If you want your children to learn and adopt healthy oral practices, then talk to them about the importance of seeing a dentist regularly, why they should brush and floss daily, and more. Besides, talk to them about what they should expect at the pediatric dentistry facility during their visits.
7. Use rewards
Use rewards to help your children learn and stick to healthy oral practices. For instance, you can let them choose their preferred toothbrushes and then present them a weekly dental care challenge leading to a reward such as visiting the toy store or going to a movie.
Taking a creative approach makes dental care less stressful for your children. Note that brushing and flossing daily, regular visits to a dental facility, and using creative methods to teach your kids healthy oral practices can help your children enjoy a healthy smile.
About The Author:
Anne Kamwila is a freelance content writer and a digital marketer. She is passionate to write about health, technology, and business related guides, news, and books.