April 21, 2014
Before your child’s first visit to the dentist there are few easy things parents can do at home to jump start a lifetime of healthy dental hygiene habits. Just a few minutes a day can set them up for lifelong of healthy oral habits.
As soon as they are born, start good dental hygiene by wiping their gums with a clean, wet washcloth to remove bacteria and residual sugars from their gums. This small, nightly ritual is a great way to get started building a healthy mouth. It might be tempting to let your newborn baby fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth, but this can lead to ‘bottle mouth’ where the sugars in milk will start to damage and erode their teeth.
Start visits to your family dentist on their first birthday or six months after their first tooth comes in, whichever comes first. This helps establish a good relationship with your dentist as well as allows the dentist to catch any issues early. Now is also the time to start brushing their teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush, dampened with water.
Model good oral hygiene by continuing to brush your child’s teeth until they are about six. Until then kids do not really have the dexterity to do it effectively on their own. Then when the kids are older, the whole family can brush and floss together! It’s also important for your kids to see you taking care of your teeth and going to the dentist.
Skip those sugary and sticky treats that will cause the same reactions in little mouths that they do in adult ones. Make it easy for good dental habits to start early by encouraging fruits, vegetables, cheese and crackers as well as other dairy products as tooth friendly snacks.
It is so important to jump start your child’s good oral hygiene habits as soon as you can. While baby teeth do fall out, it is important to set your child on a path of good, regular dental hygiene. By following these four easy steps, you can jump start your children’s oral health hygiene routine!