Have you ever talked to someone with bad breath, and yellow or missing teeth? Unfortunately, they were probably not properly educated about oral hygiene while they were young. Since children often have a diet that consists of sugary foods and liquids, it is imperative they learn how to appropriately maintain their teeth at a young age.
Side Effects of Bad Oral Hygiene
Day-to-day actions such as not brushing or flossing enough, using your teeth to open a bag of chips, and even the type of food you eat may be categorized as having bad oral habits that put anyones teeth at risk, especially children. Neglecting a daily oral routine may lead to bad breath, tooth discoloration, red, swollen gums, cavities, gum disease and finally, tooth loss. In extreme situations, lack of oral hygiene can lead to heart disease from a buildup of bacteria.
Break Bad Oral Habits
According to the American Health Association, a child must have their first visit to a pediatric dentist as early as their first birthday, or about six months after their first tooth appears. In doing so, the dentist will have the ability to check for problems, predict future issues, and prevent them with routine care to strengthen teeth. The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children and teenagers is laid during the first two years of life. By practicing consistency with brushing and flossing, children will learn good personal hygiene habits and be rewarded by positive dental visits. In having a child care for their own teeth, they will be taking the first step in becoming independent and healthy. At Duffield Dentistry, we recommend teaching these appropriate oral health practices to your children:
- Brush twice a day for two full minutes with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brushing in the evening, just before bedtime, is essential. If a child consumes something with high sugar content, convince them to drink water and brush afterward.
- Flossing correctly. This can be taught at home through repeated demonstrations. A lack in flossing is directly associated with oral problems.
- Visit your pedodontist or family dentist regularly. Maintaining a healthy mouth requires more than home care!
- Healthy snacking. Eat snacks with high amounts of calcium to support strong teeth.
How To Make Oral Hygiene Fun
Getting children enthusiastic about dental hygiene may not come as easily as it sounds. We recommend making oral care a family event. Brushing and flossing your own teeth at the same time as your child will demonstrate the correct techniques they will carry with them throughout life. To inspire kids on how to make brushing and flossing a part of their everyday routine, here are a few helpful tips on how to make the experience fun:
- Visual aids. A good idea is to use a poster or whiteboard calendar as a checklist for your child to fill out in the mornings and evenings after brushing. This will help you both keep track of your child’s progress.
- Games. Try using educational games such as crossword puzzles and word searches. Incorporate words such as teeth, plaque, hygiene, toothpaste toothbrush, etc. These will reinforce knowledge for later recall.
- Art and Creativity. Provide your child a dental coloring book, this way they can enjoy and respect learning about teeth.
Duffield Dentistry: The Most Trusted Kids Dentist In Metro Detroit
There is no reason your kids should be afraid of the dentist! Allow Dr. Larry Duffield take care of all of your dental needs, ensuring both you and your kids leave feeling at ease after a pleasant experience. Schedule your next appointment today! Contact us at 877-630-7410 for more information.