Busy first graders are known to keep parents and caregivers busy. With all the appointments and details necessary to keep up with the proper care of children, it is easy to overlook dental health. Children’s oral hygiene is very important. Understanding the basics of dental and oral health in children is the very first step in helping them establish a lifetime of healthy oral habits.
Perhaps one of the best ways to educate children about oral health and maintaining good dental hygiene is by learning the fundamentals of dental health. The following are useful dental tips for children:
Start Dental Health Early
Even before a baby’s first tooth appears, it is important to take care of a child’s smile. Brushing or wiping off their gums with a soft toothbrush or damp washcloth will remove germs. Once the first tooth appears, a parent can then start brushing the baby’s teeth. There are soft toothbrushes and safe toothpaste made available especially for babies. The earlier proper dental hygiene is started, the easier the child adjusts to having their teeth brushed.
Familiarize the Child with the Dentist
Many adults dread dentist appointments but it does not have to be this way for the child. Teaching kids at an early age that the dentist is safe is a great way to prevent them from fearing those visits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the first dental visit of a child should occur around the first birthday.
Lead by Example
It is not a secret that children learn by the example of adults. They want to do all the things they see adults doing, especially their parents. Once they are old enough to brush and floss on their own, they will soon enjoy doing this routine just like their mothers and fathers.
Make It Fun
Kids generally have a short attention span. Once the novelty of a new routine wears off, it may be hard to keep them interested in it. For this reason, it is important to be creative. Use of a song or a game can make brushing fun and something that a child will look forward to everyday. Rewards such as stickers can also add incentive to brushing daily.
Show the Consequences
It’s important to teach children the consequences of poor oral hygiene and health. Children are visual learners, so showing them the effects of tooth decay can have a strong impact. Browsing pictures of damaged and rotten teeth because the visual pain associated with poor oral hygiene can motivate them to maintain proper oral health.