Imparting wisdom to our children in order to give them the best lives possible is perhaps our greatest task as parents. We spend most of their formative years, teaching them things that will help them be happy, successful, and healthy throughout life. This may include education, manners, as well as healthy eating and exercise habits. And while parents may make their children brush their teeth and attend regular dental exams, there is still more to teach.
Good dental health is an important facet in our overall wellbeing. Poor oral health not only leads to painful cavities, unattractive smiles, and bad breath. It also can be tied to other health conditions, including problems heart and respiratory disease, as well as digestive problems. Brushing, rinsing, and visiting the dentist are all important, but these are just some of the positive dental care habits that you should be instilling in your young ones.
Sure, you make your children brush their teeth. But are they doing it often enough or even correctly for that matter? As soon as baby’s teeth break the surface, it’s time to begin brushing. Teeth should be brushed twice daily, with fluoride toothpaste being used as soon as your child is old enough to spit it out on their own. Ensure that your child has the correct size, soft-bristled toothbrush, and show them how to clean teeth using small, circular motions.
Just as it is an imperative part of adult oral hygiene, flossing is important for children as well. Teaching this habit early will increase the likelihood that your child will continue to floss in the future. By flossing, you can help gums stay healthy, and remove plaque buildup that occurs in places a toothbrush can’t reach.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a pediatric dentist after getting their first tooth or by their first birthday, a timeline that most parents miss. Although you may take your son or daughter to the dentist for check-ups, it is important to make sure that you go early and often enough. Just like adults, it is recommended that kids see their dentist twice a year for routine exams and care.
Quit Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers
A lot of young children turn to pacifiers and thumb sucking as a soothing mechanism, and most will drop the habit on their own as they get a little older. However, some children may continue the habit beyond the age of three, at which time, it’s important to try and break it. Continuing can lead to misalignment of teeth, and introduce bacteria which may lead to illness and tooth decay.
Keeping your child healthy is certainly a top priority as a parent. Just as you may teach them how to bathe or tie their shoes, instructing them on proper dental habits is equally as important. Good habits begin in young age, and learning these early can help ensure a lifetime of proper oral health.
The Smile Spa is committed to keeping the teeth and gums of our Baton Rouge patients healthy. If you would like to request an appointment with Dr. Russo, please click here, or call us directly at (225) 292-7645.