Five smart ways to teach your children healthy oral hygiene

Creating good oral hygiene habits at a young age can help ensure that your children have a solid oral health routine for their future. Below are some tips to get your children on track for a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene:


Display good habits for your children to imitate

Your children mimic everything that you do, so make sure they know that you brush and floss daily. Show them the correct way to brush their teeth to make sure they are not hurting their gums.

Give them a toothbrush that they’ll be excited about

Arm your daughter with a princess toothbrush or your son with one that displays his favorite action hero. This will help your child look forward to brushing.

Schedule regular dental checkups

Start incorporating trips to the dentist into your child’s life as early as possible to helps ease fears of the dentist chair at an early age and establish a good oral health routine.

Get rid of the pacifier

Pacifiers can misplace the spacing of your child’s teeth, potentially creating the need for orthodontia. Help your child avoid years of braces by eliminating extended pacifier use.

Avoid sugary foods

Foods with an abundance of sugar—such as candy—can damage the enamel on your child’s teeth, which can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems.

Good dental health at any age is essential to avoid tooth decay and diseases that start in the mouth.  Teaching children the importance of good oral hygiene can help them develop healthy habits they can continue through adulthood.

Sources

American Dental Association, “National Children’s Dental Health Month,” accessed January 8, 2014, http://www.ada.org/5578.aspx.

Colgate, “Oral Health of Children,” accessed January 8, 2014, http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-at-Any-Age/Infants-and-Children/Toddler-Child-Transitional-Care/article/Oral-Health-for-Children.cvsp.

WebMD, “7 Ways to Protect Your Child's Oral Health,” accessed January 8, 2014, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/dental-health-for-kids.

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