Building healthy dental habits with your youngsters is extremely important. There are lots of ways you can encourage and support positive oral health within your family, from eating a healthy diet to making sure the kids brush their teeth twice a day and visiting your local dentist at least once a year for a dental check-up and a clean.
The dentists at Tauranga Crossing Dental clinic in Tauriko know that sometimes this is easier said than done, which is why we have put together some important tips to help you create healthy dental habits with your little ones.
Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they cut through the gums. By doing so, you are both keeping their baby teeth healthy and paving the way for strong adult teeth to come in. Best of all, you are also setting up a routine of caring for their teeth, showing your child from a very young age that dental health is a priority.
The How To’s of Toothbrushing with Kids
Always start with a child-size toothbrush with soft bristles. For under threes, put a tiny small dab of fluoridated toothpaste on their brush; children over three can have a pea-sized dab. Be gentle and find fun ways to get your little one involved. If you make dental health positive from day one, it’ll be more appealing to your child.
Let Under Fives Have a Go
At our Tauriko dental clinic, we love when our youngest patients tell us that they help brush their own teeth! While kids won’t be able to effectively brush their teeth until they are around five years old, they can certainly practice before then. Give them some control by letting them hold the toothbrush and try to reach all those teeth, then follow up yourself to make sure the teeth are actually clean.
Choose Food Wisely
A healthy diet is an important part of healthy teeth and gums. Limit refined sugars and acidic food, choose calcium-rich foods that will help maintain strong teeth and choose crunchy foods like carrots and cucumbers – all that chewing is good for their teeth!
Be a Good Role Model
Kids are pretty observant, so if you’re ditching the dentist, eating too many sweets or forgetting to floss, they’ll notice. Model health dental habits by brushing your teeth alongside them in the morning or at night – you might have to brush again before your actual bed time, but the modelling will do wonders for your youngster’s long term understanding of dental health.