How Can I Help My Child to Achieve a Lifetime of Good Dental Health and Smiles?
Helping a child establish lifelong dental health can seem daunting at times. Here are some helpful tips to assist parents and their children to achieve this goal. Getting started early is a key component to success! Building on and improving techniques as children grow older is far more effective than trying to play catch up later when problems exist. Having a strong foundation from early years of good habits is incredibly valuable!
The attitudes a child has about brushing and flossing their teeth make a big difference. If adults present daily care as an arduous chore, the child will pick up this negative attitude, and that is how brushing will feel to them. Making brushing and flossing fun and mixing it up a bit can make a huge difference in how the child will care for their teeth. Sometimes adding a song while brushing makes the time more enjoyable and will give the child a way to ensure they brush for the recommended two-minute time. Even something simple like using a calendar to record brushing activity two times each day will help a child to see the importance of consistency in their oral health habits. A new toothbrush or new toothpaste serves to keep brushing fun, new and interesting! Many parents include their children’s opinions about which toothpaste of a few they have selected for the family to use. The excitement of having a say can be just the factor to win a child over to establish lifelong healthy habits.
Good nutrition and its impact cannot be overstated! The important role good nutrition and food play in our overall health and dental health is critical lesson for the child to learn early on. Limiting the amount of sweets and other carbohydrates that the child eats or drinks will impact their health greatly. Teaching and demonstrating the wisdom in pairing something sweet with a meal helps to limit the exposure time of sugar to your teeth. Having a healthy diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean proteins are contributing factors to good health and teeth. Also as a child may snack, try to watch the amount of soda, juice or sugary drinks consumed. It is best to choose something like fruit, low-fat cheese (which also tend to be low-carbohydrate), raw vegetables or yogurt. If you allow gum in your family, chewing sugarless gum helps prevent cavities by stimulating saliva flow.
One of the most powerful tips in teaching lifelong healthy habits is modeling, as parents, the practice good oral hygiene habits like flossing and brushing. Good dental hygiene habits and maintaining regular dental visits can help instill the same values in our children. Each of these actions are very important for achieving healthy teeth and mouth. Maintaining regular dental visits encourages the child to understand the importance and responsibility of caring for their teeth and sets them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Regular visits help to monitor the ongoing status of your child’s dental health. In the instance of cavities occurring, I can help you to look at and evaluate existing practices and advise as to what changes can make a difference to improve your child’s oral health.
St. Anthony Village Dentistry takes pride in partnering with you to help provide you and your child with a lifetime of good dental health and smiles! Call 612-781-9270 and we look forward to providing you and your child with the best dental care available!