Good oral health doesn’t just help your teeth and gums, but your entire well-being. Studies show that a healthy mouth can protect you against serious health issues, such as heart disease, complications in pregnancy, and more. So, developing good oral care habits in children is essential to their health. As they get older, they’ll maintain these healthy routines and keep their smile in good shape.
Here are a few tips:
- Start early
Once your child’s first tooth erupts and until the age of 3, brush their tooth with a small rice-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft bristle toothbrush. It should be the last thing you do before bed. Once they are three years old, use a pea-sized amount and teach them how to spit after. Around 10 years old, your child should be able to do this on their own. Starting these routines early make it easier for them to keep up with them throughout their life.
- Be a good example
Leading by example is one of the best ways for your child to learn. Make sure you brush twice daily for two minutes and floss at least once. Allow them to watch you, and talk about your routines with them. Showing them you care about your teeth and gums as much as theirs will inspire them to do the same.
- Make it fun
Brushing and flossing don’t have to be all about responsibility! It can be fun, too. Let your child choose their toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste. Play their favorite song while they brush, or get a stuffed animal to practice on occasionally. All of these things add to their enjoyment and make it a positive experience.
- Use positive reinforcement.
Children love seeing progress and their achievements. So, start a reward chart where your child adds stickers anytime they brush or floss. Then, after a certain number of days of brushing and flossing, give them a small reward or prize. It’s a great way of building a positive association with their oral care routine.
- Keep up with regular checkups
Regular checkups at the dentist can help build these good dental care habits. We start out with happy visits so that they can become familiar with our team and our office. From there, we’ll do traditional checkups. We can see children as young as 2 or 3, so schedule a visit today.
These tips are part of what can help your child maintain good oral care habits. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be complicated. However, if you struggle with making this a part of your child’s routine, call us today at 317-298-3384 or schedule online at our Indianapolis dental practice.