- April 20, 2017
You want the best for your children, which is why you probably struggle every year for how many presents and gifts to get for them. But one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a lifelong habit of taking care of their teeth. We push our kids to get exercise to stay healthy and to read to exercise their minds. So why not give them the gift of great teeth? Here are the tips to help you do that.
- Clean an infant’s gums regularly, even before teething: While your baby won’t be eating the same foods as adults, they can still get food particles stuck along their gums. This could feed harmful bacteria, which could become problematic when teething begins. Using a soft, wet washcloth, carefully wipe down your baby’s gums — no toothpaste, though.
- Pushing for brushing and flossing: As soon as your child’s teeth come in, you can use a special infant’s toothbrush to start brushing. As your child grows, make sure you keep pushing for him or her to brush and floss regularly. Good habits that start this early have a great chance of becoming behaviors that last a lifetime. Some kids are hesitant to brush and floss, so make sure you frame the experience as something fun. Don’t oversell and try to make brushing and flossing more fun than watching cartoons, but try to make it into a game or similar activity to grab and keep their interest. The more your child associates brushing and flossing with something fun, the more likely they will do that regularly.
- Role modeling at home: Along the same lines, make sure you brush and floss regularly so your child can see it. Children often perceive and notice a lot more than adults give them credit for, and because you’re the parent, they will copy what you do. If you tell your kid to brush and floss, but they never see you do that, they might start resisting in an attempt to be more like mommy or daddy. Besides, you could benefit from great home dental care too!
- Take your child to our Sterling Heights, MI dental office by age 1: While there is some debate among dentists as to the exact age a child should start, a good rule of thumb is to visit the dentist around your child’s first birthday. By establishing regular visits so early, you are communicating to your child that the dentist’s office is both important and nothing to worry about. This also lets Dr. Ardelean make sure your child’s teeth are coming in as they should.
- Don’t use sugary treats like candy or ice cream as rewards: Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth. But because we adults have been taught that sugary snacks are a treat, we can easily use them as rewards for our children. “If you finish all of your vegetables, you can have some ice cream for dessert!” But the more you use candy and other sweets as rewards, the more you’re telling your child that sugar is awesome. If you want to use rewards, try using fun activities instead.
- Less juice, more water and milk: Juices are full of vitamins, so many people view them as healthy. While they are, juices are also full of sugar. Giving your child plenty of juice to drink means you’re also covering his or her teeth with sugary liquid, which can lead to a greater chance for tooth decay. Instead of juice, try giving your child milk or water to drink.
- Help thumb sucking end naturally: It’s common for young children to suck on their thumb. This can cause harmful changes to the teeth and bite, but that’s not a big deal if your child still has his or her primary teeth. Most children will give up thumb sucking naturally, so there’s normally no cause for concern. Try not to worry about it and let your child stop on their own. If the permanent teeth have come in and your child is still thumb sucking, Dr. Ardelean can help.
One Big Benefit For You
While all of these tips are so your children can have great teeth, they also offer you a small gift: more money. According to a study done in 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children who had a visit by age 1 have significantly lower annual dental costs than children who went to the dentist for the first time in later years. This makes sense; the more you spend on prevention (which usually doesn’t cost a lot), the less you spend on expensive treatments like dental crowns or tooth extractions.
No one likes to watch their children suffer, especially from having bad teeth or even toothaches. Thanks to the pediatric dentistry treatments at our Sterling Heights, MI office, we can help prevent problems from getting expensive or painful. Call us today at 586-739-1111 for your child’s next visit.