February is Children’s Dental Health Month. Did you know that before your kids’ teeth erupt from under their gums, it’s already time to start caring for their oral hygiene? Dental health does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Children’s oral health needs are different from adults’, and this changes as they grow older.
The First Steps to Children’s Oral Hygiene Care
From the moment your baby starts eating, you should start concerning yourself with oral care. As soon as your baby is finished eating, use a piece of gauze or cloth to wipe any remaining milk from their gum line. Later, when baby teeth start to grown in, brush them clean twice a day using a soft bristled tooth brush designed for this purpose.
Some additional techniques to keep in mind for children are to always:
- Remove plaque before it hardens and becomes tarter, which can only be removed with a professional cleaning.
- Brush twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria that eats away at teeth.
- If your child is too young to properly brush their teeth, allow them to brush, but go over them again a second time, ensuring that you reach the back molars.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste if younger than six years.
- Floss every day to remove plaque that collects in between teeth and under the gums.
- Eat a balanced meal that is low in starchy and sugary foods.
- Visit the dentist twice a year, starting within six months after their first tooth begins to show.
Just practicing dental hygiene won’t be enough to get your kids excited about taking care of their teeth. For best results, it’s important to keep things fun and interesting for your child. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of ways to get kids involved with their dental care.
Five Ways to Get Kids Excited About Having Healthy Teeth
- Fun Supplies: In the toothbrush aisle of the drugstore, you will find a great deal of toothbrushes in various colors, patterns, and with favorite characters. Your child will get excited about using a toothbrush of a favorite princess character with watermelon flavored toothpaste.
- Offer a Reward: Log how often your child remembers to brush their teeth. After several days of consistent good dental health habits offer your child a reward! To avoid candy as an incentive, try watching a movie as a family, a trip to the park, or a special certificate.
- Lead by Example: Make sure your child hears you talk about how much you love to brush your teeth and let them see you brush twice every day. Children will want to imitate you.
- Teeth Activities: Test out some fun crafts and games that revolve around teeth. This will help your child associate brushing with fun. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Sing Along: Help your child put their enthusiasm for oral care into song! We love the tunes on this playlist.
Keep the Trend Going All Year
February is Children’s Dental Health Month, but remind your children that it’s important to keep their oral hygiene going strong all year. Healthy teeth last a lifetime, so help kids to develop good habits today that will last a lifetime.