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Those little white bumps dotting your baby’s gums are always a cause for celebration. It’s also during the period when your children solely rely on you to keep their primary teeth and gums healthy.

After a couple of years, it’ll be time for your child to take control of their own dental hygiene. However, they’ll still need guidance and a positive example from you to start them off on a lifetime of good dental habits.

Here’s why instilling a good dental care routine in your kids is essential early on, and how you can help them achieve it.

Good Dental Habits Need to Start Young

Good dental hygiene habits learned young last a lifetime, so it’s best to teach your children good oral health habits as soon as possible.

That’s because tooth development can significantly impact your child’s overall well-being. Poor dental health habits can lead to dental caries (cavities), tooth infection, difficulty eating, gum disease (periodontal disease), and other health issues. The earlier children learn to brush baby teeth correctly, the easier it will be for them to maintain this important dental habit when their permanent teeth grow in.

Good oral health routines go hand in hand with many other parts of setting a solid lifestyle for children, such as eating healthy foods, setting routines, taking charge of their health, and the ability to follow instructions.

Bring Them to the Dentist at a Young Age

One of the most effective ways to stop issues early on is to set up regular visits to the dentist. This will get them used to the idea of having a dental professional inspect their teeth, tongue, and jaw. 

Bringing your child to the dentist at a young age will create a long-term relationship between them and their dental team. Many children have the same dentist as they grow up, so it’s crucial to build that trust early.

Many dentists know how to help your child feel safe and comfortable and will also be able to answer their questions on how to prevent tooth decay and maintain proper tooth care. This guidance will help their baby teeth remain strong and healthy before the permanent teeth erupt.

Once your child starts brushing their teeth independently, their dentist can help them understand the importance of regular oral hygiene and the implications of skipping brushing. The dental team will monitor your child for cavities and prepare them for a more involved dental procedure such as fillings or orthodontic care if it becomes necessary. 

Your family dentist will also show your child how to floss correctly and explain why it’s just as important as brushing to maintain excellent oral hygiene. 

After dental appointments where no cavities or other issues are present, you can reward your child for taking such good care of their teeth – but not with too many candies, sugary drinks, or sweets!

Some dental practices also offer emergency dental care if your child’s tooth is chipped, cracked, or even dislodged during gameplay, from falling, or any type of trauma. It’s good to have their emergency line handy, so your child can get urgent care quickly.

The bond between your child and their dentist can potentially last a lifetime. Your child will eventually look forward to going to their dental appointment if they continue to have positive experiences at the dental office.

Find Creative Ways to Promote Dental Care 

You can get your child’s dental health off to a great start with a daily routine of brushing your teeth at the same time they brush theirs. Explain the purpose of brushing and how fluoride toothpaste reduces the risk of cavities. Make sure you stress spitting the toothpaste into the sink without swallowing any. 

You can make oral health fun too. Brushing teeth activities for preschoolers include reading stories or singing songs as they brush. Many dental offices offer free toothbrushes for kids but you can also buy a musical toothbrush and do a little dance as it plays music. The more fun you’re having means longer brushing!

Get them to brush each area for a set time period and use a timer to help establish an association with taking time to brush (e.g., 30 seconds per quadrant). This prevents a quick scrubbing action from occurring, which can cause them to miss out on cleaning food particles from the tooth enamel and gum line.

Above all, make brushing their teeth a fun activity that both of you share. Your child will look forward to brushing their teeth when it creates a familial bond.

Benefits of Starting Dental Habits Young 

By starting good dental habits in your child at a young age, you create a new behaviour that ensures regular brushing and dental checkups. However, you and your child will also be able to take advantage of a host of other benefits, including:

As a parent, you have a lot on the go. When it comes to your child’s teeth, consider your dental team your partner in helping them maintain oral hygiene habits that lead to an optimal level of oral health care. We love to see children have healthy teeth and bright happy smiles as they grow up – and beyond!

Instill good dental habits in your kids with the help of the dental team at Yonge Eglinton Dental in Toronto 

Instilling good dental habits in your kids means starting them off young and keeping them going. We love kids at Yonge Eglinton Dental and will ensure your children have a safe, comfortable experience every time they visit us. Our dental team focuses on protecting your teeth with solutions that prioritize overall health and well-being for your whole family. Make an appointment for a dental examination today by calling our office at 416-932-2222 or booking online. We look forward to seeing you!

Are you concerned about visiting the dentist? Read about how we protect the health and safety of our patients and staff so your family can seek proper dental care with peace of mind. 

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