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Best Dental Practices for Children

A group of children brushing thier teeth.One factor that contributes to a healthy and happy lifestyle is the proper care and up-keep of children’s teeth, mouth and gums. Many questions arise regarding the oral health of young children; how much toothpaste to use, how to floss, when to know if tooth pain is serious, and when should they lose those baby teeth? The factors that influence superior oral care begin at a very young age. Did you know that when a baby is born, they already have all of their teeth (below their gum line)? This is one reason why basic dental care is essential from day one.

Children do not have the capacity to comprehend the importance of optimal dental care until they are a bit older, so it is up to parents and caregivers to make the experience enjoyable, part of their everyday routine, and most importantly, FUN! There are many ways that parents and caregivers can foster this loving relationship with brushing and flossing. One way is by making or purchasing a reward chart for the child(ren). This way, they can visualize how often they should be brushing and flossing while earning their way towards special prizes and rewards. This helps foster a sense of responsibility as well. Your child(ren) will feel accomplished when they reach their brushing and flossing goals, and you can sit back and take pleasure in their healthy mouth.

While it is important for children to be able to brush and floss correctly, it is also imperative that they brush for full two minutes which is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Two minutes does not seem like a long time, but for a child, it is equivalent to an eternity. There are now several different toothbrush options on the market that factor in this recommended two minute brush time. Some light up, some change color, and some play music for two minutes. Even if your child does not have an issue with the two minute brushing time, these products make the entire experience something to look forward to, and more enjoyable. Let them choose which style they want and they will be jumping at the chance to use it each morning and night. This makes them excited and happy to get those pearly whites, well….pearly white!

Additionally, make it a family affair. Have everyone pile into the bathroom to brush and floss together. By doing this, it shows the kids that dental care is important to everyone, while also bringing the family together twice a day. You can have a blast watching everyone’s funny brushing and flossing faces or even compare the amount of foamy toothpaste everyone spits out when they are through brushing (or see whose makes it down the drain first!). Making the experience enjoyable can have a positive impact on the child(ren)’s overall perspective of oral health. Plus, starting young ensures that dental care beliefs and practices will be carried into adulthood.

If you are doing these things at home to ensure your child(ren)’s tooth health, then you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to start healthy habits. If you are in need of a dental care provider, or know of someone who is, Charlotte Dentistry® is warmly welcoming new patients. We love children!

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