Teaching Your Kids the Importance of Oral Health
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When you talk to people who have experienced multiple oral health issues, most of them will say that they wish they would have taken better care of their teeth. When asked why they don’t take better care of their teeth, most will say because when they were younger, they were never taught how to.
The oral health care practices children learn or fail to learn, stick with them for the rest of their lives. It is imperative that parents take the time to teach their children good oral health as soon as possible.
Set a Pattern for Them to Follow
Children learn by mimicking. This is how they learn to speak, how to learn to walk, how they learn to eat, and how they learn to care for their teeth. It is not enough to give children a guidebook or handbook. Children want to learn by listening to their guardians telling them how to brush their teeth. They need to see someone else practicing good oral hygiene and then mimic them.
By making brushing and flossing a family affair, parents can monitor their children. Parents can set a good example. If their children are making mistakes brushing or flossing, they can quickly correct these mistakes before they become bad habits.
Show your children your oral health routine. This should include brushing together for two minutes in the morning and two minutes before you go to sleep. Make sure they are spitting out excess toothpaste when they are done as opposed to swallowing it. You want to limit the amount of water they use when they rinse out their mouth as they could wash away the fluoride in the toothpaste designed to protect the enamel.
Make Frequent Visits to the Dentist
The pattern set in youth is one that will be followed for the rest of a child’s life. When a child sees going to the dentist every six months as a necessary part of life, it is a routine that they carry forever.
You want to find a dentist who is conveniently located and treats your children well. For example, if you live in North Carolina, you may take your children to an orthodontist in Cary, NC, or wherever you live.
Going to the dentist, even for adults, can be a scary thing. Some adults who did not go to the dentist regularly as children will endure excruciating dental pain because they are too afraid to go to the dentist. All of this can be avoided by getting children in the habit of having their teeth examined by an oral health professional. Dentists can identify cavities, tooth erosion, and other dental problems before they become a serious problem.
Encourage a Tooth Healthy Diet
For your teeth to be healthy, they must be healthy inside and out. Your child’s diet will play a role in their oral health. It is important to teach your children why they should avoid foods that have a lot of sugar and starch. Explain to them how these foods contribute to the development of bacteria in the mouth that can be dangerous. Children should be encouraged to drink a lot of water. Water naturally cleans out the mouth, preventing cavities and decay.
Be Aware of Heredity Problems
There are some oral health issues that are passed from parent to child. If you know that you suffer from weak enamel or a higher propensity to cavities, you need to have your children visit the dentist with greater frequency so that these issues can be identified early on.
When Should You Start Teaching Your Children about Brushing Their Teeth?
Children should start learning about brushing their teeth as soon as they get them. This is usually around six months old. Avoid using toothpaste until they are at least two years of age.
When children are two years of age, they only need a little toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Children should become accustomed to not eating or receiving a bottle after they brush their teeth for the last time. The sugars that are in milk will create acid that attacks their teeth as they are sleeping.
Oral health issues can be expensive to correct. They can damage a person’s self-esteem and limit the foods they can eat. It is imperative that parents take the time to help their children develop good oral health habits early. These will stick with them for the rest of their life.