Building the Foundation for a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles
As adults, we know all about the importance of regular dental visits and home-based oral hygiene to keep our teeth and gums healthy. But when it comes to our kids, do you know what to do to set them up for a lifetime of good oral health?
Here are some tips:
1. Start your kids dental visits early.
Regular dental visits are an important part of a person’s overall oral health, and one way to make sure your child grows into an adult that prioritizes their dental care is to get them used to regular dental visits starting at an early age. Visits to the pediatric dentist in childhood will teach your child that this is just a regular part of their healthcare maintenance routine, and that there is nothing to fear from the dentist.
2. Teach good habits.
Flossing daily and brushing twice a day is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy in between visits to your pediatric dentist. Your child doesn’t even need teeth to get this routine started – you can set a foundation of good oral care with your infant by cleaning their gums with a soft cloth or gauze. Not only will this remove any plaque that can build up before their teeth start coming in, but it can also get them used to the sensation of brushing their teeth. Once the teeth come in, it’s time to start teaching them how to brush. If your child is younger than 3 years old, ask your kids dentist if using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste is ok. Flossing can start as soon as your child has teeth that touch each other.
3. Lead by example.
Show your children that you have a good oral hygiene routine by making them aware of your own regular dental visits and brushing and flossing with them in the morning and at night. Avoid sharing spoons with your baby and cleaning their pacifier with your mouth – you want to avoid transferring bacteria from your mouth into theirs, as this can cause tooth decay.
4. Avoid contact with sugar.
If you bottle-feed your baby, avoid leaving them with their bottle overnight. Juice, formula, and milk all contain sugar, and prolonged contact with sugars, even natural ones, can lead to decay down the road. Always clean your baby’s gums or teeth after they eat, especially at night.
5. Encourage good hydration.
By the time your baby is a year old, try transitioning them away from a bottle and towards a cup. Try filling that cup with water as much as possible. A sippy cup will prevent liquids from pooling around the teeth like they do with a bottle.
6. Feed them healthy foods.
Making healthy food choices for you and your children is one of the best things you can do for their oral health, and their overall health in general. Proper nutrition is key to the development of a healthy child, and that development includes their teeth and gums.
Are you ready to talk to a kid’s dentist about oral health? Call the dental team at Kids Corner Medical & Dental today. We’ll set up a time to discuss your family’s dental healthcare needs and introduce your child to one of our pediatric dentists.
Kids Corner Medical & Dental specializes in pediatric medical and dental care. We are located in South Oakville and are always welcoming new patients. We look forward to seeing you soon.