The best toothcare tips for your kids

September 12, 2012

You might have seen toothbrush reviews and tips this month on other sites, and since September is Oral Health Awareness Month, there’s been a push to promote good dental habits.

Oral B gave me an electric toothbrush to try out (which I’m enjoying, plus it has a two-minute time function, so I know I’m brushing for long enough), plus some great tips for moms. Here they are:

Pick a Child-Friendly Dentist

There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in children s’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your area, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude and interaction with children tell you it’ll be a good experience.

Visit Ahead of Time

Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place. You can also bring a well-behaved 3-year-old with you on your own check-up so they can get used to the idea.

Examine Your Own Attitude About the Dentist

Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can sometimes give off negative messages about the dental chair without even knowing it. The parent who can be most positive about the visit should be the one to accompany the child to the dentist.

Respect Those Baby Teeth

Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth, proper care and treatment, including fillings, sealants and extraction of dead teeth, will help ensure that the jaw and teeth underneath grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that you didn’t have as options when you were a child. Also remember to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses to help better protect your child’s teeth from decay.

Establish a Routine

Going to the dentist isn’t the only thing that is important. Keeping up with a good oral health routine at home is key. Here are a few things that you can do at home between visits to maintain good oral care:

  • Teach children to brush twice a day. Good times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise at least the evening brushings for children under the age of seven.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard ones scrape the gums. Change the brush every three months or sooner if it wears out.
  • Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for at least two minutes. According to dental recommendations, two minutes is what it takes to get the job done, and children often have difficulty keeping time.
  • Make sure your child is getting some sort of fluoride. Fluoride is available in toothpastes, mouthwashes and rinses, supplements or in fluoridated tap water.

I’m off to brush my teeth now…

Note: Tips and toothbrush supplied by Oral B

Feature image via webmd

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