Q: How can I teach my kids from a young age to take good care of their teeth? I have gum disease from years of bad oral health habits and I don’t want that to happen to my family.
A: It’s never too early to introduce oral care to your children. Before the eruption of your baby’s teeth, you can wipe their gums with a warm clean washcloth to get them accustomed to the process. From the moment your child’s teeth begin to come through, you will have to start brushing them. Children need to visit a dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in, or by their first birthday. Your dentist can give you some good advice on how to take care of your toddler’s teeth and give you tips on brushing for them.
Once they are a bit older, setting a good example is very important: brushing twice daily, staying away from sugary drinks like soda, flossing daily, and booking regular dentist appointments are all important oral health habits. Beginning early will create a routine for your child and they will be less likely to resist brushing and flossing once you have taught them that this routine is expected. Actions speak louder than words, and if you are serious about taking care of your teeth and make it part of their morning and nightly routine, it’ll stick.
Some children are scared of visiting the dentist, but their objections aren’t a good reason to avoid regular visits. Parenting Magazine has some great tips on how to help kids overcome their fear of the dentist. Ultimately, the best way to avoid future issues is to do everything you can to prevent them, and it all starts with a good oral care routine.
Both of our Winnipeg locations offer pediatric dentistry. Our dentists and dental assistants love treating kids and do everything they can to make the experience as educational and painless as possible. Not to mention both our waiting rooms are equipped with child-friendly video games so your child can have fun while they wait. We even have a toy tower to choose a fun reward after the appointment! Book an appointment for you and your child today — we’re a dental clinic that can treat your whole family.