Smiles are something that contribute to your overall impression, but keeping them beautiful is a lot of work. The best habits are taught in the home and maintained as part of the family routine. Since 25% of children end up with a cavity before the age of 4, doctors are recommending that families make some changes to encourage proper dental hygiene for the entire family.
Start them Young
As parents, you are responsible for taking care of your infant's teeth and gums healthy. As the child grows, you introduce new techniques, such as spitting in the sink, holding the toothbrush right, and to not eat too much sugar. When parents teach their children proper dental care from an early age and establish the habits early, the children are much more likely to keep them going through their lives. Children with healthy mouths are most often the adults with the best healthiest oral hygiene.
Strength in Numbers
Parents often ask how they can help establish these routines. Since dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, it is important that you help remind each other every morning and night. Daily flossing is recommended, so pick the time of day that your schedules are least hectic to add it in to your routine. Many families have a bedtime routine that includes brushing teeth before bed. Find times that work for your family and then stay consistent.
If your kids struggle with dental care, there are a couple of things you can do as a family to help.
· Everyone brush and floss their teeth at the same time, in the same room.
· Make a game of remembering with charts and stickers.
· Set up healthy rewards for the entire family to enjoy together, like a game night, movie marathon, or family outing.
· Show that these expectations are for everyone, including adults.
Visiting the Dentist
One of the most important parts of keeping a smile healthy is visiting your family dentist every six months. These are vital to keeping teeth clean because they give the dentist time to examine the teeth for potential problems, spot cavities while they are still small and do too much damage, and lets the hygienist scrape off harmful plaque and tartar.
Make a family dental appointment for everyone to go together allows children to feel part of the group. Set the example with a positive attitude and refusing to talk about any fears you have. Choose a family dentist who gets to know you all and can treat problems from the infant age to the braces stage, and then all the way to needing dentures.
Do not Rely on One Tactic
For children and teens to know that dental care is important, they need to see and hear it from more than one source. Simply brushing and flossing at home is not enough to keep mouths healthy. Regular dental visits are not enough to keep cavities at bay either. Instead, both are needed to be healthy. If you really want your children to grow up with a healthy mouth and strong dental hygiene practices, it is up to you to teach them.