There are plenty of ways for you to instill good oral hygiene habits in your children while they are young. The best approach is to turn teeth brushing into a fun activity that your kids will enjoy. It may also be helpful to explain why good oral care is important if you have older children. If they know the consequences of failing to maintain good dental health, older children may feel more motivated to follow a better routine.
The most important reason to instill good oral care habits in your children is to ensure they carry those habits with them. If they don’t learn to take proper care of their teeth and gum tissue at a young age, your children won’t maintain good practices as they grow to become adults. The opposite is also true. If you work with your children to help them develop good oral care practices, they will continue to care for their teeth as adults. Even when your children are infants, you can begin by cleaning their gum tissue with a damp cloth. As they get a little older and their first set of teeth starts to grow in, you can teach them how to brush properly. These consistent practices will help your children accept that brushing and flossing are normal parts of their daily lives.
Children of any age can experience tooth decay if they don’t follow good oral care practices. Even missing a single tooth brushing will give bacteria the extra time it needs to penetrate tooth enamel. Once that occurs, acid from sugary foods will attack the tooth and cause it to decay. Before long, that decay will lead to a cavity that will require a drill and fill procedure. By ensuring your children are flossing and brushing regularly, you’ll be helping them protect against this process of decay.
An essential part of good oral care is seeing a dentist for a checkup every six months. If your children aren’t taking good care of their teeth between those visits, they’re more likely to have unpleasant experiences when they do visit their dentist. This can lead them to feeling fearful about going to the dentist since they will expect to go through painful or uncomfortable procedures. You can avoid this situation by ensuring they take better care of their teeth. You can also check for cavities at home from time to time to ensure you can get treatment for your children sooner. Catching decay early will lead to less invasive procedures that won’t cause your children to feel anxiety about their dental checkups.
While tooth decay and gum disease are serious conditions that good oral care practices can prevent, they’re not the only issues that can affect your children. As their teeth develop and grow, they may grow at awkward angles, resulting in a crooked smile or an overbite. The best orthodontist in NYC or your local area can help correct a misshapen smile with corrective devices, but you can also adjust the development of the teeth through other procedures. Through regular checkups and your own observations at home, you can catch these issues before they worsen. Especially with young children who are growing their first set of teeth, early treatment can prevent a more serious problem from occurring.
It’s important to realize that kids can be unkind, and your children’s classmates may tease them about their bad breath, tooth decay, or overbite. Fortunately, these situations can be avoided by instilling good oral care practices. You can also encourage good dental care habits by explaining that this type of teasing could happen to your children if they don’t take better care of their teeth. Since poor oral health often leads to serious self-confidence issues as children grow older, it’s important to encourage better habits at an earlier age. When your children have a bright and straight smile, they will smile more often, and other children will perceive them as being friendlier and more outgoing.
You can also reward good oral care to encourage your kids to maintain better dental health practices. That will encourage your younger children to take better care of their teeth between their semi-annual visits to a dentist. Over time, those practices will become positive habits that they will follow for no reason other than to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
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