Blog / Dental Health

The Habits That Lead To Healthy Smiles in Children

September 29, 2014

Man and woman outdoors on the grass playing with younger son

The dental hygiene habits that your children learn in their early years will be the foundation of their oral health for the rest of their life. Teaching them these four habits from the start will give them a strong likelihood of having great, strong, healthy teeth heading into adulthood!

Habit 1: Brush Teeth Twice a Day

We all know that brushing twice a day is the cornerstone of a healthy smile. Yet, it is still important to mention because brushing is a proven method to prevent tooth decay. To receive the full benefits, your child should brush for at least one whole minute (hopefully closer to two). Singing a catchy song that is about two minutes long while your child brushes his or her teeth can make the process fun. An electric toothbrush with a timer is a great tool for parents as well.

Habit 2: Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and calcium rich foods is just as important to oral health as brushing and flossing. Foods and drinks with a lot of sugar and starch create plaque and acid buildup on teeth, which leads to weakened enamel and cavities. In addition, making sure that you child drinks lots of water throughout the day will help to keep teeth free of food particle build-up.

Habit 3: Be Gentle on Teeth

It might be tempting for your child to use their teeth to open the packaging on toys or as a tool for other odd jobs, but this could cause permanent and painful damage if a weakened tooth chips or fractures. Chewing on cold and brittle ice can also cause microscopic cracks in the enamel of a tooth, which may also lead to fractures or other serious concerns over time. Being gentle on teeth is a  habit is best taught by example – so make sure that you are only using teeth for eating as well!

Habit 4: Visit the Dentist Regularly

Help your child feel comfortable in the dentist office by bringing them in early and often for fun check ups and educational exams. If children can become comfortable with the teeth cleaning process, they will be more likely to continue regular dentist visits throughout their life. A dentist appointment is also the best way to double check that your child is taking all the right steps between appointments to maintain a healthy mouth.

Instead of treating dental hygiene as a chore, make it something fun that the whole family does together. Whether everyone brushes teeth at the same times each day, or you make each other accountable for drinking water after a snack, these habits will help your whole family be healthier and have a brighter smile! Schedule your child’s checkup today!