Tips Every Parent Should Know
The National Children’s Dental Health Month is the month of February and it calls out to parents – the ones responsible for children’s good dental health habits. As parents, kids follow what you do – if you brush regularly, they, too, will. Kids are more likely to accept dental hygiene as part of everyday life as they get older when they start young.
Taking care of infant’s teeth is all about from wiping the gums with soft cloth to fingertip brushing to soft bristle tooth-brushing. A small pea-size toothpaste will do until the child can handle more toothpaste. Artificially sweetened toothpaste is better than those that use sugar. The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist in the first year of life, to familiarize them with the process and to detect any early decay issues or anomalies. Regular six-month checkups starting at 2-3 years old is another basic parenting skill. It will monitor good dental health in kids by setting guidelines and establishing discipline.
ADA guidelines offer tips so that brushing is an integral part of family life, but also a time for fun. Tips like brush with your kids to set a good example, let kids choose their own toothpaste and toothbrushes, stick to the brushing routine even on vacation or special event days, make brushing time pass quickly by playing a favorite song, reading/listening to a story, reinforce good habits with stories or videos that show characters taking care of their teeth, and reward good behavior with stickers or other small treats.
Establish some dos and don’ts regarding habits. Make clear that the first line of defense is brushing. Good healthy diet is also important. Things to avoid or minimize are candy, regular chewing gum, fruit juices and soft drinks. They are fun to have occasionally and should not be regular treats.
When choosing a dentist, it’s important to find one you like and trust. Ask family and friends for recommendations. Find out your dentist’s specialty area, insurances that are accepted and methods of payment. As parents, you must know your child’s dentist’s office hours, travel distance distance required to get there, how emergencies are handled outside of office hours, and what is the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry.
Child-Friendly Dental Practice in Bellingham
When you’re ready and your little one is into his or her first year of life, come visit us at Tetrick Family Dentistry and we’ll start our good oral health journey together.