If you’d like to teach your child to care for their mouth properly as they grow, you may not be sure where to start. So in this guide from Milktooth Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll take a look at 5 simple tips that can help you teach your child proper oral care and build great life-long oral hygiene habits.
There are a lot of different ways you can make brushing fun for your kids. You can let them pick out their own toothpaste and toothbrush, for example. Kids love feeling in control and making choices, so this is a great way to encourage them to brush!
You can also play music or even sing songs while you brush. Choose a song that’s at least 2 minutes long to make sure that you and your kids are brushing your teeth for the proper length of time.
We also highly recommend that you supervise your kids while brushing. It’s a good idea to make brushing a family activity, and brush with your kids when possible. This way, you can make sure they’re brushing properly and have a fun time with your family, too!
One way to do this is to set up a “gold star” chart, and place a gold star on each day that your child brushes twice a day. After you reach a certain number of stars (a week or a month, for example), you can give your child a reward.
This doesn’t have to be a big reward. Even something as simple as an afternoon at the park, a new children’s book, or an outing to their favorite restaurant is a good choice. By incentivizing tooth brushing, you can show your child that good oral care is truly valuable, and help them form better oral health habits.
If your kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes, you do too! If you don't let them drink soda and juice to reduce the sugar in their diet, you shouldn’t drink these beverages, either!
It’s important to be a good role model and provide a good example for your kids. If you model the right behavior and maintain great oral hygiene, your kids will naturally follow your example, and this will help protect their teeth.
You’ll usually need to floss your child’s teeth until they’re about 6-8 years old, and can learn to do it properly by themselves. Don't neglect this step. Proper flossing helps eliminate food particles that simply can’t be removed with brushing alone, and will prevent gum disease and cavities.
If you floss your child’s teeth and teach them how to floss from a young age, they’ll be more likely to maintain this habit in the future, which will help protect their oral health.
Your little one should see a dentist like Dr. Amy Shah for an appointment every six months. A pediatric dentist like Dr. Amy can assess your child’s oral health, answer questions you may have about their oral development, and make sure their mouth stays healthy. Routine dental visits also help reduce the risk of issues like cavities and gum disease as your child grows.
If your little one is overdue for a pediatric dental visit in Chicago, Dr. Amy Shah is here to help! Contact Milktooth Pediatric Dentistry online or give us a call at (773) 904-0095 to get started and get the preventive dental care your child needs to maintain a healthy mouth.