Our childhood dental hygiene lays a good foundation for healthy adult teeth. Therefore, as parents, it is important to help our kids to develop good dental habits. These good habits will not only help keep kids teeth cavity free, but will also help children to eat, sleep and function well whilst at school and home.
Here are six top tips to keep kids teeth healthy:
- Act as a role model
Children copy those around them, so as parents we should aim to demonstrate good oral health habits. You should brush your teeth with your children and make sure they can see what you are doing. Aim to make tooth brushing a part of the daily routine rather than a chore. Brushing should be done for at least two minutes, twice per day. There are apps that can be used to help make brushing teeth fun.
- Teach kids how to brush and floss
Help children under 3 to brush their own teeth. At this age, children may not understand how to spit the toothpaste out, so they should only use a rice sized amount. When children get older, they can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. When the child’s teeth have grown so that they touch each other, you should teach them how to floss and rinse with mouthwash. Encourage them to brush, floss and rinse daily.
Chatting with children about why they should look after their teeth is important. You should also talk to your child about what going to the dentist is like and how their dentist can help them to keep a healthy mouth and strong teeth.
- Eat healthily
What we eat is an important factor in how healthy our teeth are, and that is also true for children. It is important that children do not drink lots of sugary drinks and foods as they can lead to decay. Talk to your dentist if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth. They may suggest that you consider getting your child’s teeth sealed. Sealants can help prevent cavities and resulting fillings.
- Visit the dentist regularly
Keep a regular routine of visiting the dentist twice a year. By making sure all the family attend their appointments, you will make it a normal activity. Children should first visit the dentist within 6 months of their first tooth appearing, or by their first birthday.
- Do not share germs
We all have bacteria in our mouths which should not be shared with others. Therefore, try not to share utensils, cups, bottles or other items amongst children. Where possible, sanitise items that may have been in your child’s mouth, so as to prevent bacterial infections.
Healthy kids teeth start with good role models and a great dentist. To keep children’s teeth healthy, you should help them to develop good oral health behaviours which will become lifetime habits.
- Brush teeth twice a day for 2 minutes
- Floss and mouth rinse daily
- Reduce sugary food and drink
- Visit the dentist twice per year