Being a new parent comes with many questions. For example, oral hygiene is obvious to you, but how do you instill that in your kids? You must figure out what dental practices to teach them now and which ones to teach them later. Establishing a good oral health routine for your kids starts a few months after their first tooth erupts. To help you navigate this journey, here are dental care tips for parents with young children.
1. Reduce Screen Time
Studies have shown that children who get too much screen time tend to eat more sugar and suffer from tooth decay. The snacking culture associated with watching television has largely contributed to this. With Americans watching about 250 billion hours of television annually, according to Television History, consider reducing the amount of screen time your child gets to improve your child’s oral health.
2. Brush at Least Twice A Day
Just like you, your kids should brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes, in the morning and before bed. While it may be challenging to get your child interested in brushing, regular brushing is one of the best ways of ensuring great oral health. Consider purchasing a toothbrush with the image of your kid’s favorite character on it. Preferably, let them pick it out at the store.
This will make your child feel they’re in control of their dental health and make brushing a fun activity. Consider brushing your teeth together. Nothing promotes oral hygiene in kids more than setting a positive example.
3. Make Sure They Eat a Healthy Diet
More kids are developing cavities because more sugary food options are available today. Along with regular brushing, limit how much sticky, sugary, and starchy foods your kids eat. Encouraging healthy eating habits in your child’s early years will set them up for a future of great dental health. Replace sugary treats with vegetables and fruits.
If they’re eating sugary snacks, make sure it’s part of a bigger meal. This way, more saliva is produced, washing out the sugar. Your kids’ oral hygiene needs are not much different from yours. Set a positive example by committing to a healthy diet, and your kids will follow.
4. First Dental Visit
One of the most common questions parents have about their children’s oral hygiene usually involves their first dental visit. Parents are often surprised by the response. You should take your child in for their first dental visit six months after their first tooth erupts. It’s never too early to instill the importance of proper dental hygiene in your child, as preschoolers are developing cavities at a higher rate than in the past.
Some children receive orthodontic treatment at a much earlier age. Adult teeth start coming in around the age of six. If any orthodontic issues arise, take prompt and appropriate measures, as the jaw is still developing. Orthodontic issues are easy to correct in their early stages.
5. Get Dental Insurance
Just like 68% of Americans don’t have a will, according to The Conversation, most parents don’t have dental insurance. Dental insurance is a great way to protect your child’s dental health. It makes dental care more affordable. Children covered by dental insurance are more likely to receive dental care than those without it.
6. Change Out Your Water Tank
According to Flexi-Liner, there are water storage tanks still in operation today that are over 100 years old. Old water tanks tend to have high concentrations of minerals which can cause discoloration in their teeth. Changing out an old water tank can significantly lower the concentration of minerals, protecting your child’s teeth.
Just because your kid still has baby teeth doesn’t mean they don’t need attention. Teaching your kids good oral hygiene practices in their early years will set them up for a future of great oral health. Use these tips for parents with young children.