Proper oral hygiene starts young, and it all begins with the lessons our parents instill in us. It’s essential for children to learn good oral hygiene habits as early as possible. Ideally, these habits will carry long into adulthood – and prevent problems down the line.
According to America’s Tooth Fairy, kids miss up to 51 million hours of class time every year due to dental issues. All of which directly points back to their oral hygiene habits. Naturally, both elements of this problem will have an impact on children’s futures.
Starting Care Early
Caring for your child’s teeth begins well before they are old enough to do so themselves. It even begins before their teeth have come in, believe it or not. After feeding an infant, it’s important to wipe down their gums gently.
The requirements for oral care will change as children grow up. Once they begin teeth, that signifies it is time to switch from a wet washcloth to a finger brush. Following the first tooth’s arrival, parents can switch to a proper toothbrush.
Habits to Instill
There’s a lot that goes into teaching children proper oral hygiene. It’s better for children to learn good cleaning habits right from the start – brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Beyond telling children what they need to do – it’s important to show them. This way, children can learn the best way to brush early on.
Furthermore, children should learn about all of the other ways they can improve their dental health. These lessons should include eating the right foods, avoiding too many sugary drinks, going to the dentist every six months, and more. All of these lessons are easier to teach if the parents also follow the rules.
Make it Fun!
One of the best ways to get children invested in their oral health is by making it fun! There are countless options for parents, so really, it will be up to them to find the best method for their children.
These days, there are special toothbrushes that sing (with the added benefit of having a built-in timer), special toothpaste (fun colors or flavors), and more. Dentists can help make the process easier by offering treats and rewards for good behavior. Finally, one of the best ways to teach children is by setting a good example.