Toothaches, bad breath, discoloration, and other dental issues can be easily prevented if you teach your children how to practice healthy dental hygiene. Children who have good oral hygiene are typically healthier and overall happier than children who suffer from poor dental hygiene. October is National Dental Hygiene Month and to celebrate ABC Dental has compiled a list of healthy dental hygiene tips and tricks you can teach your children.
Most parents need a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. The same goes for their children. The question is how soon should you start taking your child to the dentist? The AAPD suggests that you should take your child to the dentist before his or her first birthday. Your dentist can conduct a thorough oral exam, teach proper brushing techniques, and cavity prevention.
Early visits can also give your child’s dentist a good risk assessment. If you suffered from cavities and toothaches as a child your dentist can determine if your child has a higher risk of dental issues.
Fun Fact: Children who started seeing their dentist before the age of one have 40% lower dental costs than children who started seeing a dentist at a later age.
As a parent, you have probably witnessed your child’s brushing technique. Some children hate the taste of toothpaste and will opt for a small dab of toothpaste and 10 seconds of brushing. Other children will add a large glob of toothpaste and suck on their toothbrush without actually brushing anything other than their tongue. Your children should know how to brush properly. Proper brushing will remove plaque and get rid of the bacteria that can cause painful toothaches. The best brushing technique is to tilt the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gums and gently brush in tiny circles, touching every surface of every tooth. Your children should brush their teeth for two minutes, spending thirty seconds in each section of the mouth (Upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right).
Yes, even children should floss and they should do it every single day. You don’t want to wait until permanent teeth come in to start flossing. When your children’s teeth start to touch you should start teaching them how to floss. Having a good flossing technique is also important. You will want to pull the floss firmly against the sides of each tooth.
Having healthy snacks, such as fresh fruits and raw vegetables in the kitchen to snack on can go a long way in preventing toothaches and tooth decay. Cutting down on sugary drinks, such as soda and juice can also help. Some of these drinks can contain tooth eroding acid. Chewy or sticky candy has a habit of getting stuck on and in between your children’s teeth, causing cavities over time.
It is important that you follow any dental hygiene procedures that you expect your children to follow. If your children realize that you aren’t following the same standards they may follow suit.
If your child is suffering from a toothache, needs a checkup or cleaning contact ABC Dental in Independence. Our friendly staff can make your children’s dental visit as warm and welcoming as possible!
Happy National Dental Hygiene Month!