If there is one gift you can help provide your child that will last for their lifetime, it is the gift of great oral health. While there are no guarantees, there are many things you can do that will contribute to good oral health … educate, provide, and make sure your child sees the family dentist every six months.
Educate: Teach your child the proper daily care of brushing and flossing. As soon as those first baby teeth erupt, the educating process begins. Example is a great teacher … allow your child to watch the steps you take to care for your own teeth.
Provide: This encompasses many things starting with diet. While you may treat your child occasionally, make sure their daily diet consists of primarily the basics … vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and healthy grains. Do not make soda or juice a daily staple; serve water or milk. When your child is young, you control what they eat and drink. Help them to form great habits that hopefully they will continue as they age.
Another important provision involves the correct tools to clean their teeth. A soft bristle toothbrush and age appropriate toothpaste are needed for twice daily use. A fun and inexpensive tool that might encourage brushing is to provide an electric toothbrush with a favorite character on it. Most come with a timer that signals when they’ve brushed for the recommended two minutes.
Flossing is important as the toothbrush only reaches two thirds of the surfaces of teeth. If a child is taught to floss every day from early childhood, hopefully this habit will also become ingrained.
Your child’s first dental visit should occur around the age of twelve months. This first visit is usually just an exam but consistent visits will allow your child to become comfortable with the sights and sounds of the dental office so when they are ready for their actual first cleaning, they won’t be fearful.
If your child’s first visit to the dentist is due to a dental problem, subsequent visits are likely to represent fear and discomfort. Hopefully, everything you do to support your child’s dental health will prevent the need for cavity repair.
Cavity prevention is possible with the proper care and nutrition coupled with regular visits with the family dentist for cleaning and dental exam. If it’s time to schedule your child’s next visit, contact our team at Friendly Dental Care today.