They say a smile is worth a thousand words, and seeing your children smile is priceless. The foundation of a healthy smile begins during the first years of life. As parents, setting a daily routine with a focus on proper oral hygiene is incredibly important. When good oral hygiene habits develop at a young age, the risk of significant dental problems later in life is reduced drastically. Here are some healthy oral hygiene habits you and your family can start practicing on a daily basis.
- Begin oral hygiene habits as early as possible. At the first sign of baby teeth, you should start to gently clean with a soft bristle or washcloth.
- Teach your kids proper brushing techniques. Use a timer; whether it be practicing the alphabet or singing a song, teach your children to brush all surfaces of each tooth (front, back, and sides) for two minutes, once in the morning and before they go to bed.
- Learn how to correctly floss. When your children become a little older, teach them the proper way to floss each tooth.
- Don’t forget about your tongue, after brushing, and rinsing with a mouthwash, show little ones how to brush their tongue to keep breath smelling fresh!
Oral health doesn’t stop with healthy brushing and flossing. What our children put into their bodies can also affect their dental health. Here are a few ways to boost dental hygiene.
- A proper diet filled with fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables and not just great for our body’s health, they’re also great for our mouths. For example, apples are known to help remove plaque buildup, and carrots are great for healthy gums.
- Avoiding sugary snacks. Snacks filled with sugar, like gummies and sweets, can make our children’s teeth vulnerable to plaque and cavities.
- Avoiding sugar-packed sodas and sports drinks. Skipping sugar-heavy drinks is best for dental health. Afterall, a 12-ounce serving of a popular sports drink contains over 20 grams of sugar. Keep the indulgence of sugary drinks to a minimum and opt for infused water instead.
It’s important to schedule your children’s dental visits at least twice a year. Besides checking for cavities and removing excess plaque and tartar, your dentist will help teach your kids the proper techniques for taking care their smiles. As parents, you play a vital role in helping create dental habits and smiles that last a lifetime. If you need an extra boost to your children’s dental health, ask your PCG Pediatrician about our Dental Varnish.