The health of the mouth closely ties in with the health of the entire body. This is true for both adults and children. Parents have the responsibility to take care of their children’s oral health. By making sure your children learn early how important oral health is, you will help ensure that they have healthy smiles for life.
The best way for parents to encourage optimal oral hygiene is by practicing it themselves. Children are great imitators, and whether parents pay attention or not, they are raising little “mini me’s” with all of their choices. Parents can give their children something good to imitate by allowing their children to watch them floss and brush their teeth and by talking through what they are doing. Children learn by example.
Parents need to make sure that from the moment that those first precious baby teeth erupt inside their children’s mouth that they are taking care of them. The health of these baby teeth is vital because they hold a place for the permanent teeth. Any infection in baby teeth and immature gums can easily spread to the permanent teeth that are already developing inside the mouth.
Here are simple ways to make your child’s oral health a priority:
- Teach your child to floss daily. Flossing is the most important aspect of oral health because dental floss is the only tool that can scrape bacteria-laden plaque from the teeth and gum line.
- Teach your child to brush at least twice a day. Regular brushing helps loosen plaque and tartar from the teeth, it helps remove particles of food that become stuck in the teeth after eating, and it helps provide fluoride to the teeth.
- Take your child to the dentist from the very start. Children over the age of two should see the dentist twice a year. Early exposure to the dentist will help curb any dental fears, and it will allow the dentist to gain a baseline for your children’s oral health.
- Feed your child a healthy diet. By limiting sugars you can promote a healthy smile. Diets laden with sugar – in foods, desserts, or drinks – will contribute to cavities, decay, and gum disease. Make sure your children’s diet consists of lean meats, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
At Smile Structure, we are here to provide excellent dental care for patients of all ages. Call us today to make an appointment for yourself or your children.
Posted on behalf of