5 Dental Hygiene Tips for Kids
February was national children’s dental health month which makes it a good time to talk about dental health for kids. Keeping children’s teeth healthy is a team effort. At Prescott Dentistry, we will partner with you to establish healthy dental habits that will help maintain your child’s overall health and keep their smiles beautiful for years to come.
Here are 5 dental hygiene tips for kids:
1. Start early.
Establishing healthy dental habits early is one of the best things you can do for your child’s health.
- Mothers can give their children the best possible chance for healthy teeth by taking care of their own dental health during pregnancy.
- Once your child is born, wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding.
- Schedule a dental visit before the first year or as soon as their first tooth appears.
2. Make it fun.
Many children do not like brushing their teeth or flossing at first. Making brushing fun can help.
- Play fun music while brushing teeth. The music can act as a timer. Toothbrushing should last 2 minutes.
- Brush your teeth together! Make it a family event. This sets a good example for your children and ensures they are brushing properly and for the right amount of time.
- Play! For young children, involving their toys can add a dose of fun. Have them pretend to brush the teeth of one of their stuffed animals or pretend you are at the dental office.
For more tips to making tooth brushing fun, see our previous article dedicated to this topic.
3. Be consistent.
Make dental health a part of your child’s daily routine.
- Children should brush their teeth first thing in the morning and at night right before they go to bed. Your child’s toothbrush should be the last thing that touches their teeth at night. Avoid putting your child to bed with their bottle.
- Schedule regular dental checkups at least every 6 months after the first year. Each child’s needs are different. Ask your dentist what is right for your child.
4. Limit sweets.
Encourage fruits and vegetables instead.
- When your child is a baby, encourage less sweet baby foods. For example, offer peas instead of applesauce.
- Keep trying. Did you know that on average it can take a child 10-15 tries before a child accepts a new type of food.
- At mealtimes give your child their vegetables before their other foods.
- For younger children, try making the fruit and vegetables into fun shapes.
- Offer water instead of juice or other sugary drinks. If your child does not like water, unsweetened, non-carbonated flavored water can be a good option.
5. Involve your child in their dental care.
Educate your child on what is needed to maintain their healthy smile.
- Print out these fun printables from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help your child learn about healthy dental habits.
- Let your child choose the flavor of toothpaste and the color of their toothbrush.
- Some children do not like the shock of cold water in their mouths. Let them choose to brush with warm water if they would like.
- If you have your child brush their teeth while playing music, let them choose the song.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Dental Visit
It’s a great time to schedule your child’s next dental visit. Here at Prescott Dentistry, we look forward to seeing you and being a part of your child’s dental team. Dental hygiene for kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these simple tips and your child will have years of healthy smiles to look forward to.
Image used under Adobe free stock standard license – commercial use (2/17/2021) Hero Images (Adobe)