Good Oral Hygiene Habits to Teach Your Kids
- Posted on 12/10/2018
Having a solid oral hygiene regime is your first line of defense in the battle against cavities and other more serious dental issues. These good habits will save you — and your wallet — a lot of grief in the long term. Done regularly, good dental hygiene habits become almost second nature, which is why it’s best to begin teaching these good habits to children as early as possible. Teaching children good oral hygiene habits young can help guarantee them a healthy, great looking smile for decades to come. If you believe it’s time to begin teaching your child about good dental hygiene habits, your trusted pediatric dentist, Atlanta local Elite Smiles Chastain is here to help. Continue reading to learn about good dental hygiene habits you can begin teaching your young child.
Proper Brushing Technique
Learning good brushing habits at a young age sets a solid foundation to further build other oral hygiene habits upon. It’s not only important to teach your child how to properly brush their teeth, but why — to remove plaque buildup and bacteria that can, in the long run, cause harm to your teeth and mouth.
The Correct Way To Brush
After explaining why we brush our teeth, teach your child how to thoroughly and properly brush their teeth. Begin by using a toothbrush which comfortably reaches all areas of your child’s mouth, and which they can comfortably hold. Then, show them how to hold their brush at an angle (roughly 45 degrees) and brush in short, back and forth motions, making sure to also gently brush the gums. Remind your child they do not have to roughly scrub, but gentle brushing is the way to go, otherwise, they could hurt their teeth and gums. This should be done for all tooth surfaces — front, back, and chewing surfaces.
Finally, teach your child how to check for a job well done by running their tongue over their teeth — if the teeth still feel somewhat “fuzzy” in spots, those areas should be brushed again until all the teeth feel smooth.
The 2×2 Rule
One of the most common errors children — and even adults — make when brushing their teeth is not spending enough time on it. The American Dental Association recommends following the “2×2 rule,” or brushing your teeth for at least two full minutes at least two times a day. To help teach your child what two minutes feels like, you can keep a timer in the bathroom that you or your child set for two minutes. You may even find this trick handy yourself!
The Right Way to Floss
No, we’re not talking about the dance kids these days seem to love, either. While flossing is not typically most people’s favorite hygiene activity, it’s a necessity to maintain good oral hygiene, and teaching it young will help it become a habit all the sooner.
Begin with a roughly 18” piece of dental floss — waxed floss is typically easier to work with, as it tends to glide more smoothly. Show your child how to gently wrap the ends around their fingers and hold it taught without causing discomfort or pain to their fingers. Then, using a gentle back-and-forth motion, glide the floss between two teeth then carefully scrape up and down each tooth’s side, as well as around the base of each tooth. Remove the floss using the same back-and-forth motion before moving on to the next tooth, eventually cleaning between every tooth.
Since flossing requires more dexterity and can be more difficult, you may have to help your child until they get the hang of it themselves. However, the healthy smile they will be rewarded with is well worth the effort!
Avoid Excess Sugar
While this may be difficult for children to get on board with, it’s also very important to teach your child the importance of not consuming too much sugary food. Although tempting and delicious, it’s good to teach your child the harm too much sugar can not only do to their bodies, but their teeth as well. Avoiding an abundance of sugar will help prevent the development of cavities and tooth decay. No fear, though, a little sugar in moderation won’t hurt too much — just remind your child to brush thoroughly afterward!
See Your Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta Regularly
One of the most important things you can do for your child is making dental checkups routine early on. Getting your child used to the dentist at a young age will not only help them grow familiar and comfortable with the process, but it also gives your kids dentist in Atlanta a better opportunity to track your child’s oral hygiene earlier, which can help identify and prevent issues before they become a bigger, more expensive problem. If you think your child is ready to begin seeing a dentist, Atlanta pediatric dentists at Elite Smiles Chastain are ready to help!
Schedule a Visit to See Your Buckhead Orthodontist & Pediatric Dentist
If your child is needing a pediatric dentist, Atlanta area Elite Smiles Chastain is ready to be your choice! At Elite Smiles, we specialize in pediatric dentistry with highly skilled doctors and a warm, welcoming staff who strive to provide elite, comprehensive dental and orthodontic care to all our patients. As a quality provider for braces, Buckhead area Elite Smiles can provide you with the premier orthodontic care your family deserves. If you have any questions or would like to request an appointment, contact us today or simply fill out our convenient online form. We look forward to hearing from you!