1. Visit a dentist as soon as possible
Dental care doesn’t just start when school does. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that children should see a dentist before they turn one. Visiting the dentist when your child has their first tooth is better than visiting when they have their first cavity.
2. Enforce positive reinforcement to reward good dental habits
Your child should feel like they are accomplishing something when they are brushing their teeth. Compliment them whenever they do a great job brushing their teeth, they’ll want to brush even better and more often.
3. Remember: fruit juice is very different from fruit
Fruit juice has a lot of added sugars, and even the large amount of natural sugars in raw fruits can be detrimental to a child’s dental health. It’s good practice to check for any large sugar quantities which can be on nutrition labels.
4. Give your child an opinion for their personal toothbrush
There is a whole spectrum of fun looking toothbrushes that your kid would want to try. From Spiderman to Elsa, the themes of a brush can excite a child to want to brush their teeth to hang out with their favorite hero.
5. Normalize the dental routine by brushing with your child
Children don’t want to do anything where they feel alone. By brushing with your youngster, it reinforces the idea in their mind that brushing one’s teeth is a normal thing to do. It shows them that even adults brush their teeth, so they should too.
6. Make sure they brush twice a day
It is important to schedule morning brushing sessions before school. This teaches your kid that brushing is an important part of preparing for the day. This also ensures that any midnight snacking doesn’t leave a sugary residue for the whole day, putting your mind at ease.
7. Pack snacks that are easy on their developing teeth
Kids are always hungry, and good health, both dental and physical, starts with what we eat. Foods that go easy on your child’s gums and enamel include small cubes of cheese, fruits like apples and oranges, almonds, and crackers with some hummus. Vegetables are great either raw or cooked like celery, carrots, spinach and other leafy green salads.
8. Moderation is the key to good dental care
Completely removing sugar from a child’s diet is a choice that many parents make, but others may find it nearly impossible to keep their children from sweets. With moderation, you’ll find that treats and dental health can go hand-in-hand.
9. Toddlers and braces don’t mix
While it is always up to the dentist to help a parent decide whether to give a child braces, in the early years, teeth are still forming. Braces are usually good when a child’s adult teeth have come in, and their bone structure is stronger.
10. Keep your dentist in the loop
Talking to a dentist about all the questions that undoubtedly come up when concerning a child’s teeth is vital for their health. Keep up with twice-yearly visits and call a dentist if anything seems unusual.