How to Help Your Child Develop Good Dental Habits

 

Every parent knows and understands the bedtime struggle. Getting your kids to go to bed without a fuss can be challenging, and it can be made even more difficult when you’re trying to introduce good hygiene habits at the same time.

Hygiene, especially dental hygiene, is very important for your child’s health. Statistics show that tooth decay is on the rise with young Canadians, so it’s important to establish good brushing and flossing techniques as early as possible. If you’re having trouble getting your child to brush and floss his or her teeth, take a look at this guide to learn some helpful tips:

Start Early

Did you know that you should start cleaning your child’s mouth before he or she even has teeth? The Canadian Dental Association recommends laying your baby in a comfortable place and wiping or brushing their teeth and gums with a damp washcloth. Make sure not to use toothpaste – that should only be used when your child already has primary teeth.

Children under three years old should have an adult brush their teeth while children between the ages of three and six can brush their own teeth under adult supervision. Make sure to choose a soft brush with rounded bristles and only use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Create A Routine

Brushing at bedtime is important for good dental health no matter your age. Ease the nightly struggle by creating a calming routine with your child that also involves brushing and flossing before getting tucked in. It only takes 21 days to develop a habit, so keep at it – it will stick!

Focus On Nutrition

Nutrition plays a significant role in dental health for people of all ages. Germs and bacteria in our mouths mix with sugar to create a mild acid that attacks enamel and causes cavities to form.

You can help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy by following a few guidelines – don’t let them fall asleep with a bottle of milk; make water the primary drink between meals; and switch out sugary, processed snacks like chips and cookies with healthier options.

Make It Fun

If you’re having an especially hard time developing this habit with your child, you can make dental hygiene fun by playing small games with them. Let him or her practice brushing on a stuffed animal. Offer encouragement, cheers, and rewards or bring some music into the bathroom and let your child brush to a beat.

Bring Them In For Their First Dental Visit

cScheduling regular dental heck-up with your children will help you monitor their dental health and will also help you establish dental hygiene as an important part of their life.

To help your child feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair and to take the fear out of it, be sure to choose a pediatric dentist like Growing Smiles, which has locations in Toronto, Thornhill, Guelph, and Etobicoke. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to make their office a warm and welcoming space for children to help make their dental care a simple, easy process. Visit the Growing Smiles website today to learn more about their services.