Childhood is the time where your children will learn the habits that will carry them throughout their life. It’s much easier for a child to learn a healthy habit and maintain it for life than it is for an adult to learn a brand new healthy habit in their later years. With that said, at Chesterfield Family Dental in Springfield, MO, we encourage our patients to help teach their children good oral health habits in order to establish a healthy smile for life. Find out the good oral health habits to teach your children below.
Brush & Floss Twice a Day
This is one of the most common and easiest good oral health habits to teach your children. From the time that their first tooth erupts, begin introducing the toothbrush to them. When they are too young to brush their teeth themselves, make sure to use a fluoride-free toothpaste so that your child does not ingest fluoride. Once they are old enough to brush their teeth themselves, make sure you demonstrate how to properly brush their teeth. Also, be sure to include instructions to floss. Most children will brush their teeth but do a bad job. In addition, a lot of parents don’t teach their children about the importance of flossing.
For best results, we recommend buying your child an electric toothbrush so they brush for the full 2 minutes and their teeth get clean even if they don’t do the best job brushing. Make sure to engrain flossing as a habit in the daily schedule. These habits will help prevent cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Another good oral health habit to teach your children is to visit the dentist regularly. You should bring your child to the dentist for the first time as soon as their first tooth erupts. From there, they should visit us every 6 months. These dental visits are important for diagnosing problems early on as well as treating problems early and giving preventive dentistry treatments. If your child gets into the habit of visiting the dentist every 6 months, they have a better chance of continuing this through adulthood.
Drink Water & Limit Sugar Intake
A common problem parents have is giving their children sugary drinks to sip on all day. Only give your child juice or milk with meals. If you want to give them a drink to sip on all day, make it water. If you do give your child something sugary to eat or drink, make sure they wash it down with sugar or brush their teeth afterward. Sugar will always cause cavities. It’s up to parents to teach their children what to put into their mouths.
Schedule Your Next Children’s Dentistry Appointment in Springfield
If your child is in need of a dental exam, don’t fret, we have plenty of availability for your child to visit our children’s dentist in Springfield. Give us a call or fill out our contact form to schedule a visit with our dentist for your child. In the meantime, make sure you continue to teach your child good oral health habits.