Developing Good Dental Hygiene Habits Early

Dental health has not always been at the top of the priority list for many parents. Some used to mistakenly believe that dental care for young children is a waste of time because they will only lose those baby teeth anyway. However, parents that foster good dental habits early can help ensure that their children will always practice good care for their teeth. Read on and find out more about dental hygiene for children.

Why It Matters

Habits formed when children are young tend to remain with them for a lifetime. When that habit involves taking care of their teeth, they may be less likely to suffer from common dental problems like decay and gum disease.

When to Begin Brushing

If your child has begun to get teeth, it's time to begin dental care habits. Younger children will need help with brushing, but once they can hold their own toothbrush, they are ready to do it themselves. Be sure to use a soft brush—parents can often find toothbrushes made especially for babies and young children along with special toothpaste choices. Be sure to make brushing fun and part of the bedtime and morning routines for your child.

First Visit to the Dentist

Along with brushing, the emergence of baby teeth is a good time to schedule a first visit to the dentist. While you don't necessarily need to find a pediatric dentist, consider using one if they are available. Pediatric dentists have specialized training beyond the usual so they can address the unique needs of a budding dental patient. Family dentists that care for the entire family are also a good choice. At the first visit, you can expect the dentist to examine your child's teeth and discuss dental hygiene issues. The dentist can often provide information about potential dental issues for parents to watch out for.

Protecting Against Cavities

Cavities in young children can be unfortunately common. Some of the problems revolve around eating and drinking habits. Letting your child go to sleep with a bottle of sweet juice allows the sugar to remain on the teeth long enough to turn into plaque and cause decay and gum diseases. That, in turn, can create a painful problem for your child.

Ask your dentist about applying sealants to your child's teeth. The sealants are painted on and can protect your child's teeth for many years. They provide a seal between the enamel and the acid that can result from eating sugar and carbohydrates, which can cause dental decay.

To find out more about developing good dental hygiene habits with your child, speak to a children's dentist.