A Solid Foundation for Your Child’s Healthy Smile
Helping ensure healthy smiles for kids is an essential part of your role as a parent. Starting out early can lead to a lifetime of good oral health, but it’s also something many parents aren’t sure about. You can follow these ten tips to start building a solid foundation for your children’s smiles:
1. Set the right example.
As a parent, you set examples that your children follow every day. That’s why one of the most important things you can do for your child’s smile is to take care of your own.
If your child sees you abandon your oral hygiene routine or cut corners, they’re likely to follow suit. Keep up with your own brushing and flossing so that your child understands it’s something everybody has to do.
2. Always keep up with routine appointments.
Routine visits to your children’s dentist for imaging are vital for a strong and healthy smile. Even if your child’s teeth are in good condition, these appointments ensure issues are spotted and dealt with in a timely manner, preventing more serious problems.
The teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, and other preventive options your child receives at these appointments are also important. They reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
3. Make sure they’re ready before brushing alone.
When your child begins to brush on their own, it can be a positive development, but you need to make sure they’re ready. Most children aren’t ready until they are between the ages of six and nine.
Start out with a transition phase where you brush your teeth, and then they brush theirs, that way they learn by example and they’re supervised. Toothbrush timers are another great way to make sure they’re brushing long enough.
4. Don’t leave out the importance of flossing.
Flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. People are more likely to abandon flossing than they are to stop brushing their teeth, but flossing shouldn’t be neglected. Flossing removes bits of food and bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Make sure that your child understands the importance of flossing and that they know how to do it properly. You should also keep up with your own flossing to lead by example.
5. Watch for common signs of orthodontic issues.
As your child grows, you may notice signs of orthodontic issues and other developmental problems. The way their upper and lower teeth sit when the mouth is closed is one thing to look for, which can signal an overbite or underbite.
Keep an eye out for speech issues as well, which are often reflected in their smile. Mouth breathing can also indicate problems. Don’t hesitate to discuss any of these concerns with your children’s dentist.
6. Have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7.
Most people associate orthodontic treatment with traditional braces during their teenage years. However, early orthodontic treatment can provide a variety of interventions for an easier experience and better results.
To ensure your child receives early care, you will want to schedule their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven.
7. Provide a healthy diet.
One of the most important kids’ dentist tips is to ensure a healthy diet. Diet impacts many areas of health, and a poor diet can quickly affect your child’s smile. Try to encourage a good variety while shying away from unhealthy foods.
To get your child on board, focus on the positives of good foods instead of the negatives of bad foods. Milk products, dark leafy greens, and other foods help provide strong and healthy smiles for kids.
8. Encourage them to stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is vital to your child’s overall health and also helps protect their teeth. Let your child choose a water bottle they like, so they always have water on hand. Drinking frequently helps remove bits of food, especially after snacking.
9. Get your child excited about visiting the dentist.
Visiting the dentist is vital to oral health, so getting your child excited about the dentist, instead of feeling anxious, can be a real benefit. You can take advantage of story books about visiting the dentist to familiarize them with the experience.
If your child seems overly anxious about visiting the dentist, you can also speak with your dentist about accommodations.
10. Establish strong routines.
Building a strong routine is key when following through with any of these kids’ dentist tips. Brushing regularly, eating healthy, and visiting the dentist are all easier on your child if you maintain consistency.
The Care Your Kids Need for Bright, Healthy Smiles
At We Make Kids Smile, we provide fun, exceptional dental care to ensure healthy smiles for kids in southern Maryland. Preventive treatment, restoration, and special needs dentistry are all available to offer the specific care your child needs. To find out more, book your appointment today.