As parents we have many responsibilities from a health perspective when raising our children, but few can have as drastic an effect as the neglect of your child’s teeth. Often overlooked by some parents, ensuring that your child adopts a good daily dental routine is something that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.Here are some top tips that every parent should bear in mind when brushing their child’s teeth.
A good start is half the battle is what they say and never a truer word has been spoken with regard to dental hygiene. Start your dental routine as soon as the first tooth comes through. Make a big fuss over teeth brushing time and always do it at the same intervals. This creates a great daily habit that will become second nature to your child ensuring that he or she will brush their own teeth when older, not because they have to, but because they always have done so.
Brush twice a day
Brushing twice a day may seem like common sense to most of us but unfortunately a lot of children only brush their teeth once a day. This is often due to the fact that they are too tired in the morning or drink milk from a bottle before sleeping. Cruel as it may seem, you will need to wake up that sleeping toddler to get his teeth clean of all that baby formula before he sleeps for the night. Better a child that is crying because he is sleepy, than one that is crying from having a tooth pulled.
Say goodbye to pacifiers
They are more often than not a parent’s best friend and the only means to keep a teething toddler quiet before sleeping. But a pacifier is not something dentists approve of. When a child’s teeth are developing sucking on anything for a prolonged period can seriously interfere with teeth alignment. This can also have serious repercussions when permanent teeth start to come in at the age of 6.
Check for yourself
Regular dental appointments are essential but all kinds of things can happen in the time between visits. It’s quite easy to spot some of the more obvious problems such as discoloration of the teeth or plaque buildup. Becoming familiar with your child’s teeth is a good idea and if you check after brushing you can also ensure that there are no food pieces lodged between teeth.
Always do the brushing yourself
It is always a great idea to let kids do things for themselves as it is often the best form of learning but when it comes to brushing teeth you should always make sure it’s done properly. Letting your child start the brushing holds their interest but parents should really finish the job for them all the while letting the child know exactly what you are doing. By the age of seven your child should be well trained in the art of teeth brushing and can take on the job themselves.
Try your best to make sure that each time you brush your child’s teeth that it is a team effort and a happy occasion. This will set the wheels in motion for a lifetime of good dental health habits and hopefully a lifetime of healthy teeth.