As a parent, the health of your child is incredibly important. You do your best to make sure that your child eats well and that they get enough sleep at night. You take them to the pediatrician regularly for checkups. However, what do you do about their oral health? Good dental habits are essential for keeping their mouth happy and healthy. We understand, however, that this can be challenging. Raptou Family Dental is here to help.
Go Shopping Together
Have you ever really stopped to look at the oral care products aimed at kids? Toothbrushes are available in a wide array of bright colors and feature popular cartoon characters. Toothpaste and mouthwashes are available in many pleasant flavors. Even if you what color your child likes best or who their favorite cartoon character is, take them shopping with you. Let your child pick out their toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. Just make sure that the toothbrush is designed for children and that the bristles are soft. Letting them make important decisions such as these will help to give them the motivation to use them.
Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Just like you, your child needs to have regular dental cleanings and exams every six months. Cleanings are essential for removing buildup from the surfaces of their teeth, including the areas your child cannot easily access on their own. Exams are designed to spot the warning signs of oral health issues so that your child can get treatment to prevent them from worsening. We are also able to work with your child to help them develop good oral hygiene habits.
Be a Good Example for Your Child
Children learn by watching their parents. To help your child develop good dental habits, it is important to set a good example. Let your child see you brush and floss your teeth. You can even brush and floss with them. This will make the habits more fun. It will also give you an opportunity to help your child get any areas of their mouth that they miss. You can also take your child with you to your dental appointments so they can see that the appointments are not scary.
Foster Healthy Eating Habits
Brushing, flossing, and dental visits are essential for good dental hygiene. Another important component in maintaining a healthy mouth is what your child eats. Children can be picky, but you can help to foster healthy eating. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrot sticks, and celery on hand for snacking. These raw fruits and veggies function as natural toothbrushes. Your child will clean their teeth as they chew and get essential vitamins and minerals into their body. Dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are also good to have on hand.
Discourage Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use after 3
Sucking is a natural reflex for infants. Many babies suck their thumb or use a pacifier as a way to self-soothe and comfort themselves. These habits are completely normal. Many toddlers begin to lose this reflex around the age of 2. Some children, however, continue. Past the age of 3 or 4, thumb sucking, and pacifier use can be detrimental to dental health. They can cause issues with the development of the teeth and jaws.
Helping your child to break these habits is important for ensuring good oral development. If your child is having trouble, you can help to make the process easier by providing them with extra cuddles when they are upset or giving them a new stuffed animal to hug.
Working with your child to develop good dental habits now is crucial for helping them to maintain a lifetime of good oral health. For more information, and to schedule an appointment for your child, call Raptou Family Dental today at (614) 427-0449.