When you take your child to the dentist they’ll go over the healthy habits that prevent cavities and gum disease. They’ll talk to your child about brushing their teeth. They’ll likely also discuss healthy eating and drinking habits.
You can be proactive and help your child adopt these habits early. While cavities can still happen, when you and your child take steps early on, it creates better dentist appointments and a happier and healthier child.
1. Brush Twice a Day
Some children, and some adults it seems, just don’t like to brush their teeth. However, this simple habit goes a long way toward preventing cavities and gum disease. In addition to encouraging your child to brush their teeth twice a day, be a good role model and brush yours too. In fact, it’s something you can do together. Sing songs, use colorful and fun toothbrushes and toothpaste and maybe even sing and dance.
Proper brushing habits are important too. It can be a good idea to occasionally go over the right way to brush your teeth – including brushing the gums and tongue.
Most children don’t really need to floss. Their little teeth are so far apart. However, it’s still a good habit to get into. They make flavored floss to try and they also make flossing devices that are easier for small hands to manage.
Again, children don’t often need mouthwash for bad breath. However, they can benefit from mouth rinses. These kill bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease – in case your child misses a spot. They come in child-friendly flavors and include fluoride to help protect the enamel on their teeth.
4. Limit Sugary Snacks and Drinks
The dentist will undoubtedly talk about what sugar does to teeth. You and your child can help protect their teeth by limiting sugary drinks and snacks. They should be an occasional treat rather than the norm. Additionally, they should brush their teeth after any sugary snack.
By taking these steps when your child is young, they may very well go through childhood without any cavities. This can go a long way to helping them be comfortable with the dentist and to never really develop a fear of them. However, sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a child can become fearful anyway. Next, we’ll take a look at three things you can do to help reduce your child’s fear of the dentist.