Teaching Oral Health To Children
At Putney Dental Care, we are strong advocates for teaching children to observe oral hygiene. It is a very important lesson to teach, as these are health practices that they can carry all the way to adulthood. As parents, it is your responsibility to promote dental health among your kids, even before they can brush and floss their teeth themselves.
If you have a newborn or an infant, start paying extra attention to their gums. Millions of bacteria are found in saliva and the entire mouth area so be sure to wipe off excess drool. This should be done after every meal time and before bedtime using a soft damp cloth.
Teaching Children The Basics of Brushing and Flossing
As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, you can start brushing their teeth with specially formulated kids’ toothpaste. Always use a toothbrush that has soft bristles and is small enough to use for your child’s mouth. Gentle, circular strokes are ideal for best cleaning results. Once they start growing more teeth, you can include flossing into their dental routine. Be very cautious as you go in between spaces using a back-and-forth motion. Make sure you take out as much of the debris that’s stuck between and around the teeth.
Once they become toddlers, switch to a toothpaste with fluoride and teach kids to brush their teeth themselves. Gradually incorporate flossing once they are able to take better control of their hands and fingers.
Dental Damage from Poor Diet
At some point, toddlers will learn to pick the food they like. As their palates expand along with the eruption of more teeth, they get excited to try out various tastes and textures. You will notice that they would be more vocal about their preferences, most of which tend to be filled with sugar. Excessive eating and drinking of sweet snacks and beverages wreaks havoc on teeth and gums.
While you can control your kids sugar intake at home, you can’t stop them from sipping sodas and milkshakes or snacking on chocolate and candies entirely. Instead, let them have their treats while keeping consumption at recommended serving sizes. Early on, make them understand the value of keeping everything in moderation. In addition, remind your children to brush and floss their teeth properly after getting their sweet fix.
Setting a Good Example
Of course, being a good role model to your children is also effective in instilling the importance of dental hygiene. One good way to implement good oral practices among your kids is to brush and floss alongside them. When they are very little, show them the steps to proper dental care by demonstrating it on yourself first. The older they get, give them the confidence they need to practice correct oral hygiene techniques.
Establish the importance of healthy eating at home by limiting junk food. Always walk the talk and practice clean eating habits in front of your children as well. Educate them on how sugar is bad for their teeth as it causes plaque, which leads to tooth decay. This nugget of information will surely help kids in making good choices on their meals and snacks.
Lastly, schedule a trip to the dental clinic with your children. Going to the dentist together lessens their anxiety and improves their knowledge on oral health. Putney Dental Care recommends visiting the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings.
Call (02) 9808 2588 and book an appointment today.