You can help your child enjoy taking care of their teeth and a lifetime of great dental health. Here are some tips to get you started.
As soon as your child’s first teeth erupt, begin brushing them daily. You can start by using a soft cloth and graduate to a soft toothbrush as more teeth arrive. You’ll do all the brushing in the beginning, and you can let your child take on more of the responsibility as time passes. Make it fun by playing a brushing game or making a chart and putting a sticker on it each day. You can also choose a nice long song to hum while brushing. When the song is done, the brushing is too.
Children want to do everything you do, so make sure they see you enjoying brushing and flossing your teeth every day. They’ll learn by example.
Use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. Children tend to swallow most of the toothpaste in their mouth, and you want to limit their fluoride intake.
Make your first appointment with the dentist at an early age. You want to make trips to the dentist a regular part of life. If you wait until there is something wrong, it will make their first visit much more stressful. Let them have a chance to get used to the dentist and staff and have some fun.
Choose your dentist with care. Find a dentist who really enjoys treating children. Sometimes you can tell by the age at which a dentist will accept children as patients. If it’s around one or two, it can mean the dentist and staff really enjoy treating children. Studies have shown that nearly one in three Americans suffer from some type of dental phobia. Most have had a bad childhood experience with a dentist who was insensitive to their feelings or pain level. So choosing someone you trust is essential.