Establishing a good dental hygiene routine at a young age is an important part of lifelong oral health. Children should be taught how to care for their teeth as soon as their first one erupts. Children are more likely to properly care for their teeth into adulthood if they are taught a good oral hygiene routine from a young age.
Caring for baby teeth is just as important as caring for adult teeth. Even before the first tooth sprouts, a baby’s gums should be wiped daily with a piece of gauze or a wet washcloth. Once the first tooth erupts, begin brushing daily with a soft bristle toothbrush and water. When a child is old enough, begin flossing and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.
First Dentist Visit
As soon as the first tooth erupts, introduce a child to the dentist. This will help the child get comfortable at the dentist office and avoid future fears once they are old enough to begin regular dental cleanings. All children should have a dentist visit by their first birthday. Dr. Bezik is a dentist in Fairfax, Va, who works with families and children of all ages.
Establish a Routine
Oral hygiene should be a part of a child’s daily routine. Establishing consistency is key to maintaining good oral health. Try to have a child brush and floss at the same time every day. Children should brush and floss twice daily, once in the morning and once before bedtime. Try having them brush after breakfast in the morning and then after bedtime in the evening so that oral hygiene becomes a part of their daily routine and is never forgotten.
Why Dental Hygiene is Important
Young children are naturally curious, so teaching them why dental hygiene is important will help them better understand why it’s a necessary part of their daily routine. Good dental hygiene helps:
- Prevent plaque, gum disease, and cavities.
- Keep teeth healthy so that they are able to chew and talk properly.
- Set the foundation for healthy adult teeth.
- Prevent infections and tooth sensitivity that can be painful and unpleasant.
Making Dental Hygiene Fun
Children are more likely to do something if they think it’s fun. Keep children entertained during their daily oral hygiene routine by:
- Buying them a special toothbrush that has their favorite character or a fun design on it.
- Setting a timer for two minutes and allowing them to start the timer.
- Singing songs or rhymes about keeping teeth healthy to get them excited about brushing.
- Watching entertaining and educational videos about the importance of dental hygiene.
- Creating a reward system, such as charts, stickers, or small prizes, for achieving their daily oral hygiene goals.
Educating children about dental hygiene is essential to their overall health. Finding an experienced dentist in Fairfax, Va, and setting up an appointment prior to a child’s first birthday is a great first step in preparing them for a lifetime of good dental hygiene.