“What’s really important when it comes to good dental health is building good oral hygiene routines at an early age.” emphasizes Dr. Jesse Chai of Bradford Family Dentistry. “When a child has good clean teeth and good oral hygiene, it makes our job so much easier.”
And what are the habits that you as a parent should be instilling with your children?
- Good Brushing Technique – Don’t assume that one lesson will mean that your child has got brushing down to a science. You will need to supervise until you are sure it is being done correctly without you. Spot checking after brushing is a good idea.
- Timing: Ideally, your child’s teeth should be brushed three times a day but in most busy homes this is unrealistic. Good thorough brushing twice per day with a possibility of flossing will help reduce cavities.
- Regular Dental Check-ups: Children can start visiting to the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts. When making your child’s first dental appointment ask the dentist whether there is something you should or should not say to your child. There are excellent books available that can help children prepare themselves for their first appointment.
- Make Brushing Fun: Consider buying an electric or battery operated toothbrush or a toothbrush that has your child’s favourite story character on the handle. Invest in a child’s toothpaste with a better flavour. Make a game out of it – after you’ve brushed your child’s teeth, let them brush yours – and check each other’s mouths.
“It all begins when the child is small,” continues Dr. Chai. “If a child doesn’t go to a dentist when they are young, chances are he or she won’t carry it over into adult life.”
For tips on good dental hygiene for your child or bringing your child to the dentist for the first time visit the Bradford Family Dentistry website – www.bradfordfamilydentist.ca.