February is National Children's Dental Health Month. In honor of this, this article discusses 5 easy dental habits for kids to practice daily. Establishing healthy dental hygiene practices early on is essential to keep them on the right track for the rest of their lives.
Why Dental Health Matters
While it might seem unrelated, your dental health affects the rest of your well-being. The same is true for children. For example, untreated bacteria that builds up in your teeth and gums can enter the bloodstream, causing risk factors for heart disease. Infections in the mouth can also lead to respiratory illnesses like colds, which children are more susceptible to in the first place.
Challenges With Kids and Oral Hygiene
There are some unique challenges with keeping up with dental habits for kids. Younger children might fuss when you try to brush their teeth, especially when you attempt to floss. This is because they may eat a diet high in sugar, which works against good oral hygiene. Kids also can find it hard to sit still, making brushing and flossing difficult.
Dental Habits for Kids: Brush Teeth Twice A Day
The easiest habit to start with kids is brushing their teeth twice daily. The routine will become second nature by starting early - as soon as they sprout their first tooth. As kids grow older, this becomes even more important as they introduce different foods to their diet, including sugar. Make it fun for them by investing in fun toothbrushes and kid-friendly toothpaste.
Remember to Floss
Just like regular brushing, a consistent flossing routine helps keep little one's mouth and gums clean and healthy. This is especially important at the end of the day. Sometimes a toothbrush can miss some particles on and in between your teeth, which can result in plaque and bacteria build-up over time. Flossing allows you to clean these areas and prevent problems down the line.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Many kids eat a diet high in sugar; even natural sugar in fruit can affect dental enamel. Although it can be challenging to do, try to have your children avoid lots of candy and other high-sugar items. A simple way to do this is by swapping out juice for water.
Ask about fluoride treatment for your child at their next dental visit. Many dentists provide this already. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen enamel and fights the bacteria that attach to teeth through plaque. When it comes to kid's dental health, fluoride treatments are a simple way to protect their teeth into adulthood.
Attend All Checkups
Finally, make it a priority to attend regularly scheduled dental appointments for your child. Generally, this takes place once every 6 months. By keeping up with your child's visits, you can stay on top of their dental health and prevent potential problems or concerns early before they get out of control.
Many of these dental habits for kids are simple and easy to implement, and you probably are doing most of them already. Need to catch up on your child's dental visits? Schedule an appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable team at Ascent Dental Care.