5 Tips for Establishing Proper Dental Hygiene From an Early Age
Introducing a child to the dentist for the first time can be an overwhelming process. Most children already have an internal fear of the dentist by the time they are old enough to require any dental care. These tips will help you choose a dentist for children, as well as introduce your child to the dentist.
Normalize the dentist from an early age
Normalizing the dentist?s office from an early age can help to reduce their fears. When it comes time for your own children?s dental care, they will already be familiar with the process. Additionally, you can introduce your children to their dentist before they require any dental care. Bringing them along to your dental appointment gives you the chance to encourage comfort with the dentist. If your children will have their own dentist for children, bringing them in ahead of time can be helpful.
Choose a dentist that specializes in children
A dentist for children is familiar with the special dental care that children require. They also often have a dentist office that is set up for children. The waiting room is filled with children?s toys and even the dental exam room is catered to make them comfortable. Children might actually enjoy going to the dentist when they can play games and watch movies. A dentist for children also often hands out special goodies after regular dental visits.
Schedule dental care early
Although you might think that it is not necessary to emphasize dental habits until adult teeth begin to come in around age six, baby teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, and damage to them can cause substantial problems later. Proper dental hygiene should begin early.
Good dental care can start as soon as your baby?s teeth are visible, which typically begins at approximately four months of age. Initially, you may want to use a washcloth to clean your child?s teeth and eventually move to a small toothbrush. This can familiarize your child with the tooth cleaning process and can help them begin to develop proper dental hygiene from an early age.
Make dental protection a priority
Good dental hygiene as a child is not the only important step in protecting their vulnerable teeth. Children are often very active throughout the day and it is also important to protect their teeth. The AAPD notes that 10 to 39 percent of dental injuries in children are caused by sports, particularly chipped and broken teeth.
Repairing these teeth can be expensive and painful. It can also affect the development of adult teeth later on. Your child should wear dental protection during any sporting or physical activity. If you are unsure about which type of dental protection to use, consult with your children dentist. Your child?s teeth are too important to avoid proper dental protection.
Establish a healthy diet
In addition to proper dental hygiene, it is also important to establish a healthy diet. Diets that are high in sugar and fat can cause the teeth to rot and cavities to form. Establish a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables from a young age. Avoid sugar filled juices as a baby. Water is important because of its fluoride ingredients. Your child’s first dentist might recommend formula or finger foods that are higher in vitamins and supplements.
Children dental care is extremely important. Most children learn their dental hygiene habits at a young age. If you do not introduce them to the dentist or teach them about proper dental care and healthy eating, it is possible that they will never develop these habits. Starting a child at an early age with proper dental hygiene can help to protect their teeth for the years to come.