As a parent, you probably already take a lot of steps to help ensure your kids enjoy good health and stay safe. You probably have a firm bike helmet policy in place, for when they’re riding around the neighborhood. You may also insist they eat at least one green vegetable each day, no matter how much they complain. But do you ever find yourself wondering what more you could, and even should, be doing in order to help your kids prevent cavities? Proper dental care doesn’t have to be complicated, or even time consuming. It does, however, require that you know what steps you should be taking, as a family, to protect your oral health.
Make Sure They Brush and Floss Each Day
One important way to help your kids care for their smiles, is by teaching them to brush and floss their teeth every single day. Yes, they may sometimes fight you on this, but plaque bacteria can turn into tartar buildup very quickly. And since tartar is responsible for acidic erosion that can lead to both cavities and gum disease, it really is important that your kids develop good hygiene habits from an early age.
Most dentists recommend brushing your baby’s teeth gently, and without toothpaste, initially. Then as your child develops, and more teeth are visible, you can begin using a pea-sized amount of paste. Around the time your kids develop the skills to tie their own shoe laces, they should be able to begin brushing on their own, with only your supervision.
If they are struggling to develop proper brushing or flossing technique, you can ask your dentist to do a demonstration at their next checkup.
Keep in mind kids should visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings, after the age of one.