As with most things regarding children, routines are important. Building good habits takes both time and consistency. Make sure dental hygiene is a natural part of bedtime and morning routines, just like changing into pajamas, bedtime stories, and eating breakfast might be. While it may be tempting to relax your routines from time to time, for example when coming home late, having guests, being on vacation, or oversleeping (it happens to the best of us!), try to avoid skipping the daily tooth brushing sessions. It’s just as easy to learn that brushing your teeth is optional as it is to learn that it’s natural. As an adult, you should lead by example of course, and not skimp on your own dental care either.
It’s good to start practicing early. While small children will need help brushing their teeth effectively, it is a good idea to also let them practice on their own. Brushing your teeth involves some fine motor skills that take time to master. (If you don’t believe me, try brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand!)
We all know that brushing our teeth and flossing can be pretty boring. While spending two minutes (you should brush for two minutes, two times a day!) being bored is manageable for an adult, it can be difficult for a child. The urge to do it sloppily and finish quicker can be too strong to manage. Therefore it can be a good idea to create a reward system for extra motivation. Whatever motivates your child: stickers, music, an extra goodnight story–but not sweets of course.
The best dental care practices are commonly known to include good nutritional practices as well. It is well known that the mineral calcium is good for not only your bones, but your teeth. Making sure that your child also gets enough calcium into their diet is critically important. It is also commonly understood that dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are plentiful sources of calcium, but beware the relative high levels of protein and fats, as well. This is an important time in your chlid’s life to also begin developing a diverse palate, and leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and shard, are all wonderful sources of calcium.
Another mineral long-used in dental care products and touted as keeping teeth strong and healthy is fluoride. Fluoride is commonly added to municipal drinking water sources because of this and other health benefits. You can contact your local water supply to find out whether or not this is the case for you. If not, fluoride is also frequently sold in ‘nursery water’, which is still perfectly potable for children of all ages. You should ask your child’s dentist about other products that are available and what is advisable to your child’s individual needs. Flavored toothpastes, mouth rinses, and leave-on treatments may be necessary for helping the development of strong enamel.
Of course, there are other ways in order to help your child develop good dental hygiene in ways that appeal to them in their early stages of life. Gentle electric toothbrushes are available in themes of almost every kind imaginable, from popular music groups to cartoon movies and television shows. Some useful toothbrushes even have the most convenient and helpful built in two minute times, playing music of some sort during the duration that your child should be brushing, thus indicating to them when it is appropriate to rinse their mouths and admire their growing smiles in the mirror.
Every parent wants what’s best for their child, and, fortunately, instilling these good habits are also helpful for your budget, as well. By making sure that your bathroom cabinet is stocked with bubble gum flavored toothpaste, colorful toothbrushes, and plenty of floss, you keep the cavities at bay, the tooth fairy happy, and save possibly thousands of dollars throughout your child’s growing years on expensive dental care.
One of the best things you can do for your child, of course, is to get them accustomed to regular dental visits. Children can sometimes be frightened of dentists and dental visits, but this does not have to be the case. Frequent exposure will reduce the level of anxiety. For the best dental care offered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, please contact us today.