Getting children set on the right path to taking care of their teeth and oral hygiene at a young age is very important. The habits formed while at this young age will last a life time and so will their teeth.
When to start.
Start cleaning before the first tooth appears. Begin cleaning by wiping the gums with a clean, damp cloth every day.
Use fluoride toothpaste when your child is age 2 (use fluoride toothpaste before age 2 if your doctor recommends it)
Use the right amount of fluoride toothpaste—remember less is more, a light dab.
- Brush at least twice a day – Regular brushing removes plaque from your teeth to help avoid unwanted cavities. If you have young children, you may want to brush their teeth for them. Brushing can be made fun for kids if you implement brushing charts, fun toothbrushes, and flavored toothpaste.
- Floss daily – Flossing removes food debris from the tops and sides of your teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach. The latest scientific research shows that flossing can add as many as 10 years to your life. Plus, like brushing, flossing cleans teeth and controls bad breathe.
- Eat healthy – A nutritious diet is essential to a healthy smile. Foods that are heavy in starch and sugar, including carbonated drinks, produce acid that causes tooth decay. Eating food as a meal, not as snacks, allows extra saliva to help rinse food from the mouth. Also, make sure your drinking water contains fluoride.
- Visit your dentist – Regular checkups and hygiene allow you to receive professional assistance in maintaining optimal oral health. Your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment or sealants, which are placed on chewing surfaces of the back teeth and premolars, to prevent tooth decay.
- Wear a mouthguard – Studies show that up to 40 percent of sports injuries involve the face. Children who participate in physical and recreational sports should wear athletic mouthguards to protect and reduce injuries to the mouth and teeth. Dentists can make custom mouthguards to fit your individual smile.
Remember to not only teach your kids how to keep their smiles healthy. Show them! By setting a good example!