Children are constantly learning about the world around them, and the habits they form in childhood will follow them throughout their lives. You can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene by instilling good dental habits when they're young. Here are four ways you can encourage oral health in your child.
1. Take your child to the dentist every six months.
According to Delta Dental, children should start visiting the dentist as soon as they start developing teeth. Dentists recommend having dental checkups every six months. During these appointments, the dentist will clean your child's teeth professionally, perform a thorough exam, and take X-rays to check for cavities. It's important to take your child to every scheduled dental appointment since preventative care can keep your child from developing cavities.
2. Supervise your child's tooth care routine.
Dentists recommend that people brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. It's easy for adults to follow these instructions, but children might need extra help. When your children are very small, you might need to help them floss until they get the hang of it. As your child gets older, they can clean their teeth themselves, but it's a good idea to supervise them. Make sure your child is using the proper technique to brush and floss. Improper brushing can lead to gum erosion, and improper flossing is ineffective. Gently correct your child if you notice they're doing something wrong and ask their dentist to demonstrate the correct form at their next appointment if you have any questions.
3. Offer healthy snacks.
Snacks are a healthy part of a balanced diet, but the wrong kinds of snacks can cause cavities that damage your child's teeth. Instead of giving your child sugary soda, chips, and candy, offer them healthy alternatives. Fresh vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces and served with hummus are a nutritious snack that are good for your child's teeth. Don't forget to offer milk at mealtimes as well. Milk is an excellent source of calcium which can build strong teeth and bones.
4. Treat cavities promptly.
With any luck, your child will never have to deal with cavities. Unfortunately, they are a common dental problem that will affect most people at some point. If your child's dentist finds a cavity, you should allow them to treat it as soon as possible. No child wants to have a cavity filled, but left untreated, cavities can lead to root canals which can be more upsetting for children.
For more information, reach out to dentists like William E Kemper DMD.