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Dental Care Tips for Children

If you have children, there are certain things you need to know about when it comes to their teeth. The #1 question parents ask when it comes to their kids and teeth is WHEN? When should you actually start to brush their teeth? Some people may have different answers, but our answer is clear: As soon as they appear. Even if you are not using traditional toothpaste (as you shouldn’t be anyway) you can use a wet washcloth to clean their baby teeth to ensure that tooth decay is not present and does not happen early on. Kids and cavities is such a high statistics these days. In fact, over 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. That is just plain astonishing and shocking! Maybe if more parents knew how to take care of their kid’s teeth, less kids would have cavities at such a young age. If you want some tips on how to take care of your children’s teeth, there are a few tips below.

Starting Early

When it comes to the right time, most dentists will suggest that they see your child on his or her 1 year birthday. This allows you to get preventative care, as well as see if there are any issues with their teeth early on so that it can be taken care of now, rather than later when it gets worse. A dentist can chime you in on any issues your kids teeth may have such, so it’s a better idea to be aware of it now and try to deal with it now, than to have a surprise waiting for you later on – when it might be too late to fix it. This also allows your dentist to familiarize your kid with any issues as well, and get a head start on a dental plan.

Good Habits Can Be Taught

When it comes to anything revolving around a kid; eating healthy, doing chores, cleaning their room, or brushing their teeth, the earlier you start good habits the better chance they have of forming those habits and keeping them going as they get older. Instead of it being something you have to drill into them, it will instead be something that is as natural to them as breathing. Early cleaning is an essential and good habit to pass on to your kids – no time is better than now to start. A lot of people seem to think that they do not have to clean their kid’s baby teeth. But, this is very untrue. In fact, even though they are baby teeth and a new set will come in later on, the foundation for the basis of healthy teeth and gums, is still in play with the first set of teeth. Plus, as said before, this is about forming a good habit that they can carry on throughout their life. If you have questions about the best toothpaste and mouthwash for your kids, do yourself a favor and ask your Family Dentist.

Make It a Rule

Some kids can be really dramatic when it comes to brushing their teeth, so when it comes time for them to brush, floss and use mouthwash – don’t back off. This is not a choice. It’s a rule. If your child really throws a temper tantrum, try some of the following tips:

– Watch Them: Make sure if you have young ones, that you watch how they are brushing their teeth and that they actually are doing it~!

– Get their teeth brushed after eating a snack, but before they get too sleepy. Chances are you will get more cooperation when they aren’t yawning and falling asleep at the sink.

– Involve your kids: If your kids are over the age of 5 you can begin to let them pick out their own toothpaste and toothbrush. This gets them excited about brushing their teeth. Let’s be honest, most kids would rather brush their teeth with a hulk toothbrush and “slime” toothpaste than a regular old boring toothbrush and toothpaste any day of the week. As long as the toothbrush and toothpaste offer good benefits, you can let them choose what they want and let them get involved in the process.

– Motivation aka bribing: Just kidding! Bribing is never a good way to teach your kids good habits, but good motivation is. Some kids will cooperate if they know there is something for them in the end – something simple like a sticker, or a golden star on their chest. Others may try to up the deal by having you offer other things like a day at the park or the zoo – as long as it’s not unhealthy for them, educational and fun or it’s something that doesn’t put you out, go for it. Another idea is to offer a chores list, even smaller chores for younger kids, and place “nightly chores” or rituals on the calendar or list and allow them to put a gold star on the day themselves. This makes them feel accomplished, self-esteem goes up, and they feel good about doing something that benefits them.

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