Everyone dreads a visit to the dentist, especially your children. The poking and prodding from sharp tools along with loud drilling noises should be motivation enough for your little ones to keep a clean mouth, but when they’re young, it’s our responsibility as parents to help. Preventative care can alleviate the stress of a dentist appointment, so here are five tips for protecting your children’s teeth early on.
See You Later, Soda
Sugary drinks are the bane of any dentist’s existence. Soda erodes tooth enamel over time, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Ouch! Your children can enjoy a pop in moderation, preferably sipped through a straw, as this limits damaging acids from touching their teeth.
It’s also a good idea to have your child rinse their mouth out and brush their teeth 30-60 minutes after having a soda, if possible.
Pass on the Pacifier
If you have a newborn, you know that a pacifier is sometimes the only method to calm a stirring baby down. And while they’re perfectly fine for a baby, pacifiers can eventually damage their teeth. Doctors recommend children stop using a pacifier between two and three years old. Long-term use can change the shape of their mouth and the alignment of their teeth.
Reinforce Good Habits
As our children get older, the responsibility of keeping good dental hygiene becomes theirs. Before that happens, we must be reinforcing good habits as we lead them through their daily routines. Teaching your kids that they must brush, floss, and rinse their teeth twice a day is a must. Perform these tasks in front of and for your children until they’re ready to do them on their own.
Use a Quality Brush
Even with good dental hygiene habits and a healthy diet, cleaning your teeth is only truly advantageous for your child if they’re using quality a toothbrush. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on hi-tech products; regularly replacing dental utensils is highly effective when it comes to cleaning teeth.
Toss old and frayed toothbrushes every three to four months. Worn brushes accumulate bacteria over time and can lead to further tooth decay.
Work With Your Dentist
Even after utilizing all these tips for protecting your children’s teeth early on, it’s a good idea to practice preventative dentistry methods with your child and family dentist. Together, you can create a plan best suited for your kids and their dental needs. Seek out dentists within your insurance network to ensure regular visits that won’t financially burden you.
Cleaning and caring for your children’s teeth is no easy task. By teaching your young ones the importance of good dental hygiene, you can take the fear out of going to the dentist and leave them with happy and healthy smiles!