As parents, we generally juggle many balls on any given day. It's likely that one of those balls will drop and you may forget to pick it up. It's happened to me many times. I forget an appointment or to turn in a form. A sports practice goes forgotten, and that permission slip for the field trip? Where did I put that again?
But one ball you don't want to drop is taking care of your child's teeth. My daughters recently had their six month check ups, and as they are getting older and experiencing more issues with their teeth, we are realizing how important it is to teach proper oral hygiene and the importance of taking proper care of your teeth for the future.
Our family dentist gave us some helpful tips for ensuring you are providing your child with proper care and education.
1. Implement A Strict Cleaning Regime
The best way to ensure that your children have healthy teeth is to clean them properly. When you get rid of the plaque and bacteria on their teeth, they are less likely to have cavities and discoloration. Brushing at least twice a day is recommended, but if you can get them to brush after every meal (snacks included), even better. If they only brush once, bacteria will easily build up and cause plaque, cavities, and gum issues. Also, be sure they are brushing properly. Ask you dentist or hygienist to show your child the proper way to brush, including hard to reach areas, as well as brushing their gums. Encourage the use of mouthwash and flossing.
2. Change Their Diet
Another reason children have problems with their teeth is their diet. They can be overzealous brushers, but it won’t make a difference if they eat a lot of junk food. Placing limits on sugary candy, chocolate and soda will go a long way towards keeping your child's teeth healthy. Find a healthy snack that they enjoy so that they won’t eat or drink as much junk food.
For kids, the dentist is as important as the doctor. You wouldn't put off an annual well-visit, so why would you delay a routine dental check up? Children’s teeth are very fragile, and they need expert care so that they don’t fall out and so that they grow in properly. Of course, dentists can be expensive, especially if you don't have insurance. Most dentists are very willing to work out a payment plan with patients. Ask your dentist about payment options and flexibility. This dentist office here is a great example as they don’t require insurance. They have an in-house policy for the people without a dental plan.
4. Be Consistent
It isn’t okay to do all of the above once or twice a week. Your children must brush and floss regularly. Help them establish a good brushing routine. Kids love routines and soon will be brushing their teeth on autopilot.