As Lakewood, CO parents, we all remember being a kid and dreading that walk to the sink to brush our teeth (well, some of us do!). Kids these days have so many amazing new technologies and devices at hand, and it’s up to us to equip them to form healthy oral habits. Here’s how you can help your kids love brushing their teeth.
Benefits of Great Oral Habits and Dentistry for Children
Maintaining optimum oral health is a habit that you can start early with your kids. In turn, it will become a long-term habit and benefit their oral and overall health down the road.
Surprisingly, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases in children. If left untreated, they can cause infections and pain that can lead to problems with eating, speaking, concentration, learning and playing. Thankfully, cavities are preventable! Taking great care of your child’s teeth, accompanied with frequent dental checkups at a dentist in Lakewood will help ensure those cavities stay away.
When Can I Start Teaching Healthy Oral Habits?
Healthy oral habits start early. How early? Before those little teeth poke through, early! Babies typically get their first teeth at around 6 months. Prior to that, you can wipe your baby’s gums twice a day with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth (usually right before bed and first thing in the morning). This will keep bad bacteria away. And this will also hopefully help as they begin to teeth – hang in there with some helpful teething tips!
Good Oral Health Habits In Young Children
Once your baby’s first teeth pop in, you can start brushing them with a soft, small-bristled toothbrush and plain water (no toothpaste yet!). Your baby’s teeth may just be baby teeth, but they are so important for your child’s growth and development. Baby teeth help your child talk, smile, chew, and hold space for adult teeth. They also play a big role in jaw development!
*If your baby is struggling to feed, be on the lookout for a tongue-tie or lip-tie. The jaw, mouth, teeth are all connected! Because of this, we recommend bringing your child to a Lakewood, CO dental clinic before or around their 1st birthday. At Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, CO, we provide a free first appointment for new patients under the age of three! Schedule an appointment today.
Teaching Oral Habits In Kids
As your child grows, they’ll keep getting baby teeth! Some will come in easy, and some will be a struggle. They’ll likely have all of their teeth by the age of three, and then they’ll start losing them at around age 6. As these baby teeth come and go, you’ll want to equip your child to know proper oral habits, such as:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Avoiding a lot of sugary foods and drinks
- Eating foods that are healthy for teeth and gums
- Going to annual or twice-a-year dental checkups (your Lakewood dentist will advise the best routine for your child’s unique dental care)
Teaching your child to enjoy brushing is not easy, but it can be fun! There are many activities and videos nowadays to make the process enjoyable.
Make Brushing Teeth Fun For Your Kids
You’ll want to make the act of brushing and oral health fun and not a chore. Here are some things that will help:
- Give your child an option to pick their own toothbrush & toothpaste (with your help, of course!).
- For toddlers and younger kids, let them brush first, and then do a once-over afterwards.
- Create a reward system for your child for brushing their teeth.
- Print and have your child color and complete a monthly calendar for tracking their teeth brushing and flossing.
- Let them practice on their doll or stuffed animal.
- Find a brushing song to get them excited! And definitely jam out to it with them. A few great examples are:
- Brush with your kiddos! Lead by example – they’ll be looking to you!
Schedule An Appointment
Help keep your kids’ oral health strong by teaching and enforcing good oral habits. By doing so, you’ll set your child up for a lifetime of success when it comes to oral and overall health. At Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, CO, we would love to help you keep your kids’ teeth and mouth healthy and happy! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner – we’re looking forward to meeting you!
Want to learn more about pediatrics dental care in Lakewood, CO? Check out our page here.