As a parent, you’ll want to gift your child good health and great habits that last a lifetime.
This includes teaching your child an oral hygiene routine that will give them a beautiful smile — for life!
We show you how with your children’s dental health tips that are easy and fun to follow.
1. Start them young
It’s never too early to give your child good dental habits. You can do this with your baby even before the first tooth appears by gently wiping their gums with a clean, damp cloth. This will get them used to cleaning inside their mouth.
When their first teeth start to appear, sit your baby on your lap with their head against your chest. Use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush moistened with water and with a tiny amount of toothpaste — about the size of a grain of rice.
You should do this twice a day to build your child’s dental schedule to last them a lifetime.
2. Give them responsibility
Once your child is old enough, let them hold their toothbrush themselves and brush their own teeth.
Make sure you supervise them to ensure they get the right amount of toothpaste on their brush, brush adequately (for 2 minutes, using circular strokes) and spit out the toothpaste afterwards.
Around the age of 7, most children can be left to brush their teeth by themselves.
And you can set up a reward system like a sticker chart to incentivise your child and help them work towards their dental health goals.
3. Tooth-friendly diet
Your child’s dental habits are not just about cleaning — you should educate them about a tooth-friendly diet too that’s good for their overall health and wellbeing. This includes:
- Fresh fruit
- Wholegrain food
- Dairy products, including milk
To prevent tooth decay and the need for fillings, avoid:
- Sweet, sugary foods like lollies
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Chips and crackers
4. Schedule that trip to the dentist
Schedule your child’s first trip to the dentist around their first birthday, or within six months of their first tooth coming through.
There are several reasons for coming to see us early on — we can identify any issues and treat them quickly to prevent further problems, we can offer child teeth cleaning tips and also get your little one used to regular dental visits.
Seeing the dentist regularly will take any fear out of the process and mean that your child understands the responsibility of taking care of their own dental health.
5. Be a role model
Finally, be a role model for your child to look up to. When they see you taking care of your dental health and eating a healthy diet from a young age, they will be inspired to do the same!
Start your child’s dental health journey with us!
Thinking about taking your child to the dentist for the first time? Or maybe you’re looking for a child-friendly dentist local to you.
Come along and see us here at Opal Dental. We’re your family-dentist for residents of Te Atatu and surrounding areas.
We offer children’s dentistry services to help your little one get the best start in life.
And know that we’re here for all the family with a full range of adult dentistry services too, from regular check-ups through to more specialist treatment like help for gum disease and teeth whitening.
Give us a call to make that appointment for yourself or your child…we’re here for everyone at every stage of their dental health journey!