The earlier good dental habits start, the more enjoyable visits to the dentist will be as children grow. When children experience discomfort at dental checkups, an aversion to the dentist can develop making all subsequent visits and care more difficult than necessary. Much discomfort can be avoided, however, with good dental habits and positive reinforcement.
Parents do not always realize the importance of caring for baby teeth. While these teeth do fall out and permanent teeth replace them, dental caries, periodontal disease, and infections can develop from insufficient care of baby teeth and gums, and these problems can continue to affect permanent teeth long after the baby teeth are gone. Establishing a good brushing routine and beneficial oral hygiene habits as early as possible will have a profound effect on future dental health.
The earlier good dental habits start, the more enjoyable visits to the dentist will be as children grow.
Even before baby teeth emerge, a very soft baby toothbrush or sponge toothbrush can be used to clean the mouth and gently stimulate the gums. This will increase blood flow for healthy gum tissue and support healthy teeth as they begin to show. This will also help desensitize the babies’ mouths, making future brushing routines more comfortable and developing trust to encourage children to allow parental help in caring for teeth and gums. A gentle cleaning will also rid the mouth of germs and bacteria that can develop on the gum tissue and tongue, preparing the mouth for a lifetime of better oral hygiene.
Most dentists agree that children can begin learning to brush their own teeth when they develop the manual control to hold and guide the toothbrush. This is typically around 2-years-old, but children should continue having parental help in brushing until age 5 or 6. Parents that wait to teach their children the necessary oral hygiene habits for good dental health tend to experience more difficulty, especially when children go through a “no” phase.
With good dental habits developed from the start, children will learn to properly care for their teeth and gums making dentist checkups a breeze. This includes avoiding high-sugar and highly acidic beverages and sweets such as soda, soft drinks, and candy. When juice, fruit, and high-carbohydrate foods are consumed, children can be taught to rinse their mouths afterward for reduced impact on tooth enamel and oral health. For more information about children’s dental health, contact our caring dental specialists today!