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5 Tips from a Family Dentist to Help Your Child Develop Good Oral Habits
When you take your child to the family dentist for the first time, your dentist will let you know that the best way to get the child to practice good oral hygiene is to get them started at an early age to help prevent the tooth decay that is common in children and to get them used to it so they continue practicing good oral hygiene as they grow older.
5 family dentist recommended tips to help your child develop good oral habits
1. Take them to the dentist at an early age
A family dentist recommends taking your child for their first dental examination by their first birthday because early prevention helps you avoid bigger problems in the future and saves you some money in the process.
According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a five-year period, dental costs are almost 40% lower if children see a dentist before they are five years old.
2. Teach them good oral habits
Since kids imitate what they see the adults around them doing, make it a point to brush your teeth in the presence of your child and let them know why it is important to do so.
If your child is an infant, you can brush your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth before their baby teeth erupt and with a baby toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste when their teeth begin to appear. However, you should consult your family dentist before you start to floss the child’s teeth to learn the proper technique.
After brushing and flossing your child’s teeth before bedtime, remember not to give them any food or drink except water until they wake up, to avoid tooth decay.
3. Cut back on sugary drinks
Most parents think giving their child juice is fine because it is natural but it is actually harmful to their teeth because fruit juices contain high levels of sugar. Your family dentist will suggest that you limit your child to four ounces of 100% fruit juice every day to avoid tooth decay and avoid giving them sugary drinks with their meals.
4. Avoid overusing the sippy cup
Sippy cups are useful in helping young children transition from their feeding bottles to regular cups. Do not let your child use a sippy cup all day because it can lead to tooth decay if their beverages are sugary.
5. Be firm on their oral health
As your child gets older, they might make a fuss when you tell them to brush their teeth and floss, but you have to stand your ground and make sure they do it regularly and properly. Family dentists believe one of the best ways to coax your child into brushing their teeth on their own is to let them feel involved.
Instead of picking out their toothbrush and toothpaste, let them pick their own oral health tools. Picking out their own toothbrush and toothpaste will make them more excited to brush their teeth. You should also tell your child to brush their teeth shortly after dinner instead of telling the child to do it right before going to bed when they are more tired and likely to be more reluctant to brush their teeth.
Getting your child to brush their teeth regularly should begin at an early age so they get used to it and continue practicing good oral hygiene as adults. If you need more tips on how to improve your child’s oral health, talk to your family dentist and ask for some more suggestions.
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