Keeping your kids happy and healthy is quite rightly one of your biggest priorities as a parent and something you’ll no doubt dedicate a lot of time and energy toward. Luckily, fluoride, which is found in drinking water and food, does a lot of the work for us, strengthening tooth enamel, and, in the process, lessening the chance of tooth decay. Aside from fluoride however, what other options do you have open to you as a parent in order to ensure the oral health of your young ones?
Although nothing can substitute a fantastic child-friendly dentist, such as those at GreatStartHealthySmiles.com, hopefully the following advice can offer plenty of ideas on how you can do just that.
Brush Teeth for Two Minutes
Spend time encouraging your children to brush for at least two minutes a day, setting a timer where appropriate or turning it into something of a fun race. See if you can get them to make a habit of it by doing it once before bed and once in the morning, that’ll soon get them off to a good start and help develop a healthy habit as an adult.
Never Brush After a Meal
It might sound like contrary advice but brushing a child’s teeth straight after a meal is not a good idea due to acid in food and drink softening tooth enamel. At such a developing age brushing can do more damage than good if done too soon after meals, wearing down tooth enamel faster and opening up the risk of decay and infection. Better to wait for a while afterward when things have settled down and then resume brushing.
Brush In Front of Your Child
If your child is having a particularly tough time understanding how to brush their teeth, give them some encouragement by having them watch you do it and answering any questions they might have or gently explaining how and why you do it. Acting in this way encourages the natural response of your child to mimic adult behavior, and, as they’re quick learners, will see them picking up a brush and caring for their own teeth in no time.
Seating or Standing
When it comes to brushing your child’s teeth it might make sense to experiment between seating and standing. Doing both can help you cradle and support their chin in your hand but one might be a whole lot more comfortable over another. Being seated behind them gives you much greater range, allowing you to reach their top and bottom teeth all the more easily, but might prove particularly uncomfortable if forced to do it for a long while.
Engrain the Habit of Brushing Before Bed
Brushing before bed is the most important time to brush and even if you forego brushing at other times of the day a nightly brush pays dividends. Saliva, which is in abundance when your child is awake, acts a deterrent to tooth decay and helps keeps mouths clean. When sleeping though, bacteria can act quickly and damage teeth.
There’s plenty to do as an adult when it comes to your child’s oral health. Implementing just some of these ideas can go a long way.