Dental Tips for Parents
- One of the best things you can do for your children is to help them develop good oral hygiene habits. The best method is to lead by example. Your children want to be just like you. Little ones especially will enjoy brushing at the same time you do. To ensure your children brush long enough you could teach them to sing a sufficiently long song in their head. When the song is done, so is their brushing. If they're resistant you could have a "competition" to see who can brush the longest. After they've brushed long enough, you can finish and declare them the winner. Older children respond well to checklists and sticker charts. There are a myriad of ways to motivate and remind children of important habits.
- Make sure they understand that even though their toothpaste tastes yummy it isn't good for them to swallow it. When toothpaste contains fluoride, they can get too much fluoride if they swallow large amounts of toothpaste, which can cause there to be white spots on their developing adult teeth. If you limit them to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, they should be okay.
- After all their teeth have erupted they can begin flossing. At first you can do it for them, but eventually they should make attempts at it themselves. By age 10 or 12 they should be able to floss by themselves.
- The earlier your children have their first appointment, the better. We want their experience to be positive, so it is important to bring them in before there are any dental problems. We don't want their first experience with the dentist to be a cavity filling or toothache. Don't worry too much about preparing them for their first visit. Most dentists have found that when you don't make a big deal about the appointment, treating it as routine, your children will feel the same way.
For more information you can check out our pediatric dentist page, or request an appointment with our office.