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It is never too early to give children good habits of oral hygiene. Of course, it is up to the parents to make the “first steps”. The key is to find new ways to create good dental habits and then practice them with your children. The sooner your children begin to take care of their teeth themselves, the more they will be happy and healthy, and you too. And over a lifetime, the gains are immeasurable.
No worries, you are not alone
If you think that instilling good dental hygiene into your children is a real challenge, you are not the only one. Caries are one of the most common childhood diseases. Studies show that nearly 50% of children between the ages of six and eight have already had at least one cavity.1 Some simple reasons justify the importance of helping children to understand early on that they need good habits dental.
How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth
A lot of information is available, but these few basics are already a good start.
- To prevent the formation of plaque-causing bacteria, gently cleanse your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after each feed. Make sure to use only water, and no toothpaste.
- Do not lie with a bottle of milk or fruit juice containing sugar.
- Once the baby teeth begin to grow, usually between 4 and 6 months, get used to brushing your teeth. The best is to use a brush with extra soft bristles and water.
- Even babies may develop gingivitis and cavities . Going to an early pediatric dentist can be a good idea, but keep in mind a “first visit to the first birthday”.
Dental Hygiene for Young Children
Showing the right example and making brushing fun is the key to success. When everyone brushes their teeth together, brushing becomes a family ritual that kids love.
- By the age of two, you can start using fluoridated toothpaste, but make sure your child does not swallow it. Want to teach him how long to brush ? Try to sing “Shine, shine little star” or any other song that he enjoys, for two minutes.
- Oral-B® children’s electric toothbrushes feature a number of popular cartoon characters. Now, children can have fun with their electric toothbrush and their Disney® or Pixar® buddies.
- In general between three and four years, the 20 primary teeth or “milk” teeth have all appeared. Permanent teeth, or teeth of “adults” appear around the age of six and may continue to grow during adolescence.
- If your child is afraid of the dentist, you can reassure him / her by sitting on your lap during the examination.
Dental health for older children
As children grow up, they want to feel more empowered. Growing also implies assuming certain responsibilities, such as caring for one’s teeth, without the help of parents. Use what is most important to them: Children want to give a good image to others, they want to be able to smile on selfies, and especially they do not want to spend all their free time on the dentist’s chair.
To teach children the right amount of brushing, try the Disney Magic Timer App .
Another real challenge for children is to avoid drinks and sweet snacks. Healthier snacks can allow them to enjoy better dental and overall health. If your children play a sport, a mouth guard will help them avoid injury at this level and preserve the health and beauty of their teeth throughout their lives.
The use of dental floss is also a good habit to give them. You can also ask your dentist for more information on sealants or fluoride care for increased protection against cavities.