5 Tips for Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

April 19, 2021

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 3:07 pm

Is getting your child to brush their teeth a daily chore? Teaching them good dental habits early isn’t always easy, but it’s an important lesson that will impact their health for the rest of their life. You might have a hard time getting your child(ren) to brush and floss every day, and that’s normal! Encourage proper techniques and habits, leading by example. There are, however, some techniques you can pick up to try and make it more fun.

  1. Start Early

We recommend you start taking your child to the dentist by the time they turn one – or six months after their first tooth comes in. As soon as your child’s first tooth sprouts, it is accessible to plaque, which can lead to cavities and other dental complications. Ask your dentist about the proper steps for caring for your baby’s first teeth.

This is also a good time to get advice on your child’s incorrect oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking and pacifier use. Follow up with your dentist as often as every six months. They will be able to assist you in making an oral care schedule for your child.

  1. Get Them Involved

Letting children make their own choices about their toothbrushes and toothpaste will help spark their interest in dental care so it will seem like more of a fun activity than a chore. If a princess toothbrush makes taking care of their teeth more fun, go for it! Just make sure whatever they choose is approved by the FDA and ADA. 

  1. Offer Incentives 

Let’s face it, as parents, a little bribe here and there will work. Start small – offer extra playtime or a treat over the weekend. We don’t recommend big rewards every day because this can lead to unmet expectations and ruin your progress. Small rewards over a longer period of time will allow for “weaning” off this technique, at the same time encouraging good oral care.

  1. Educate

Teach your children all about dental care and the consequences of not following proper cleaning techniques. Be sure that they understand why we take care of our teeth and how they help us every day. And make sure older siblings are on board too! 

  1. Make it a routine

Children respond well to patterns and routines. Be sure to incorporate good dental care into their morning, afternoon, and evening routine. Keep an eye on them during these times to ensure they are using proper techniques and ask your dentist if you have any questions about how to improve their daily routines.

If you have any additional questions about your children’s oral health, contact us!

Keep Your Children’s Teeth Safe This Spring

April 1, 2017

Filed under: Blog,Children's Dental Health — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 3:14 pm

It’s warming up, and your attentions might be turned toward all things spring. If you have children, chances are good that they will be more active and enjoying different foods during the hot months of the year. You likely ensure that your child wears a helmet when riding his or her bike and that the kids are buckled up when you go places in a car, but do you take special precautions when it comes to keeping your children’s teeth safe? Here are some ways you can keep those little chompers healthy and in good condition this spring and beyond.

Use a Mouthguard

If your child plays any type of sport, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re wearing a mouthguard. You might think this is a no-brainer when it comes to sports like hockey or football, but even non-contact sports like tennis or soccer could result in a nasty dental accident if a ball or a racket is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You can have a dental mouthguard fabricated at your dentist’s office, or you could opt for the “boil and bite” type at your local pharmacy or discount store. The most important thing is that your child wears it whenever he or she could take a ball, baseball bat, tennis racket, or even the head of another child to the mouth.

Be Careful in Swimming Pools

Most families are safety-conscious around swimming pools, particularly when the children are young. Once your child is a good swimmer, however, you might not implement the rules as much as you did when he or she was younger. Keep in mind that older kids might be more likely to roughhouse and take risks when jumping into a pool than they did when they were little.

Be vigilant that your kids do not engage in horseplay on slippery pool decks. No one should be tossed or pushed into a pool unexpectedly, and it’s important that they do not jump onto pool toys that are near the edge of the pool. This is because a slip could result in their teeth hitting the side of the pool. Keep the deck clean so it’s not slippery, and urge the kids to use caution. In addition to saving their teeth, this could also prevent injuries to their faces, wrists, and other body parts, too.

Watch Their Dental Hygiene

During the hot days of spring and summer, kids tend to spend more time outdoors. They might indulge in treats from the ice cream truck, or you might pass out popsicles after dinner to enjoy by the pool or while they play in the sprinklers. When kids come in exhausted, it’s tempting to let them just crash and go to bed, particularly on the weekends. While skipping the brush-and-floss routine once isn’t going to do any lasting harm, making it a habit could lead to gingivitis and dental decay. Be stern about at least getting their teeth taken care of before they fall asleep.

If your child is due for their cleaning and checkup, give us a call. We want to help you keep your children’s teeth healthy and strong, and regular dental visits are one way to make that happen!

Creative Commons image by oshokim.