teach child good oral hygiene

teach child good oral hygieneMaryville, Alcoa and Knoxville TN

“Brush twice a day, floss and rinse.” As a child, you probably heard those words at some point or another whether it was from your parents, a commercial, your dentist, or perhaps even a school educational seminar. It’s almost like a dental idiom: the reason it was such a simple common repeated phrase is that preventative dentistry is the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. There’s no better way to prevent adult tooth damage and decay than to begin as children when those permanent teeth are developing. Many people believe baby teeth don’t matter, but at Cedar Street Family Dentistry we want you to know that nothing is less true. Unhealthy baby teeth directly affect adult dental health and development. For your children, learning good oral hygiene habits will have a positive effect throughout their adult lives. Dr. Ben Sentell at Cedar Street Family Dentistry is passionate about setting up children for a lifetime of healthy smiles. That’s why he has five tips to keep your children’s teeth healthy and pearly-white.

  1. Old Dog, New Tricks

Nothing helps to set the pace for a life of good oral hygiene better than a good example. Children watch every move their parents make. They learn about your habits—good and bad. Set an example for your children and show them that dental hygiene is a priority to you. We’ve all heard the phrase you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so help your kids while they’re puppies and still learning.

  1. Early Bird Gets the Worm

Brushing your babies’ gums can be helpful to tooth development, but the moment that first tooth arrives you have to make sure it gets brushed. You’ll have to brush those teeth yourself at first, of course, but the sooner children start proper brushing, the more likely they are to continue with this practice through their adolescent years and into adulthood. Children who start brushing from younger ages have a lower risk of cavities and decay.

  1. Run a Tight Ship

Starting oral hygiene habits in kids when they’re young is important, but routine is crucial to reinforcing those habits. Set a schedule. Don’t stray. Brushing after meals is important, but the primary focus for kids should be to brush once in the morning and again right before bed or after their last meal. Bedtime snacks and drinks should be limited to pre-bedtime brushing, and only offer water to drink after your child has brushed their teeth. Enamel can be quickly eroded if exposed to acids in foods and drinks overnight on a regular basis.

  1. All Work And No Play

Try not to make dental care a chore or dental visits seem like a punishment. Oral hygiene and fun probably don’t sound like they go hand in hand, but there are some options out there that might surprise you. TV shows, songs, flavored toothpaste, or toothbrushes of fun colors and designs can entertain a child or at least interest them in dental care. If you allow them to pick out their own dental hygiene tools, they also may feel more invested in using them. Treating brushing and flossing like a chore can deter children from wanting to take care of their teeth, and those habits will carry on into adulthood.

  1. It Takes Two

Our fifth and final tip from Cedar Street Family Dentistry is that all it takes is two minutes of proper tooth care, twice a day, to have a healthy and happy smile. Set a timer and make it a game to have your teeth cleaned when the buzzer goes off. Offer an option of surprises or rewards for children who make it to the timer without fault. Prizes don’t have to be expensive. It might just be that they get to pick out a sticker or a glow stick to play with close to bedtime. Don’t let this become a long, drawn-out affair where your child becomes agitated and bored.

Children’s dentistry in Maryville

Dr. Ben Sentell knows you love your children and want the best for them. Our caring and devoted staff are here for all of your children’s dental needs. Contact us today if you have any questions at all about your children’s dental hygiene habits or are interested in scheduling a dental appointment to help us set up your child for a lifetime of good oral health. Cedar Street Family Dentistry is here to provide the best possible preventive dental care for your children so that they face a lower risk of problems later in life. Contact our office at (865) 233-7640 to schedule an appointment or consultation today if you’re located in Alcoa, Knoxville, and Maryville in Tennessee.