It may feel like a successful night if you can get your children to brush their teeth well. However, there's a lot more to taking the best care of your kids' oral health than regular brushing. Consider these dangerous dental mistakes that many parents and kids make, then determine a proactive plan to help your children avoid these bad choices that can compromise their teeth now and in the future.
Sticking with Just Brushing
Some kids will whine and fuss about having to do anything except brush their teeth. Flossing and swishing with mouthwash may seem like unnecessary extras when you need to coral a fussy child into bed. Do not less them off the hook with just brushing, though.
Flossing is a necessary dental care habit to develop because it removes bacteria and food particles from between teeth. Brushing alone simply can't do that. When your children are very young, you will need to floss their teeth for them, but children who are at least nine years of age should be flossing their own teeth in the morning and at night. Similarly, swishing with a mouthwash is important for dental health, and kids between the ages of six and 12 should be supervised while using mouthwash.
Drinking after Brushing
It's okay to go to bed with a glass of water. You may even keep a glass by your kids' beds in case they get thirsty during the night. However, avoid allowing your kids to drink any other beverages at night after they've brushed their teeth. Sugary drinks like juices, sports drinks, sodas, dairy milk, and even nut milks can have sugars that will coat the teeth and contribute to tooth decay overnight.
If your child has a habit of getting their own drinks after you've tucked them into bed and gone to sleep yourself, be sure to set some ground rules and tell them why. Explain why only water is allowed. If you want to allow exceptions, explain the importance of brushing their teeth for a second time. That's enough to deter most kids from wanting that extra sugary drink.
Finally, take action to prevent these mistakes before your kid falls into the trap of making them habits. It's far easier to avoid a bad habit than to quit one. As the parent, you set the example that your kids will follow whether you want them to or not, so make sure that you are modeling excellent oral health care to help your kids get started in the right direction. Someday your kids will thank you, and so will their adult teeth that thrive when good habits are formed early on.
If you have questions, contact a dentist at a place like Round Lake Dental Clinic.