It’s a big moment for parents when their child’s first tooth appears. Not only is it a developmental milestone, it’s an indicator that the time has come to begin establishing those early dental habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.
The vast majority of parents in the United States are diligent about scheduling regular dental visits for their children. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control state that nearly 85 percent of children ages two through 17 have had a dental visit in the past year. However, this percentages drops to 64 percent in adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Here are some tips to help your kids along their lifelong journey of healthy teeth and gums.
1. Start Early
Early dental habits are built to last. These should begin as soon as a baby’s first teeth appear.Daily dental hygiene is essential for establishing a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, making it makes much more likely to become a habit that will stick
2. Schedule Twice Yearly Dental Visits
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are valuable for keeping teeth clean and identifying problems early before they require extensive treatment. They also teach that oral health is an essential part of overall wellness. Children who see a dentist on a regular basis typically have a good, positive attitude about cleanings and treatments and will likely become part of the segment of adults who obtain regular dental visits.
3. Lead by Example
Show your kids that taking care of your teeth is important to you. This includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day to control bacterial plaque that leads to tooth decay and cavities. Include children in your routine so that it become part of regular daily activities.
4. Choose the Right Products
Along with good dental habits, it’s important children have the right products to protect their teeth and gums. Fluoride toothpaste, floss and the right toothbrush are essential. Because gum tissue and tooth enamel are fragile, avoid nylon bristle toothbrushes that are abrasive. The patented Ultra Soft bristles of the PeriKids® toothbrush are ideal for protecting the teeth and gums of children.
5. Partner with a Pediatric Dentist
Dental visits can be perceived as scary to children. Yet, the right dentist can change a child’s view about dental cleanings and treatments. One who specializes in pediatric dentistry has experience with the unique needs of children. Carefully check reviews and references and choose one who is kind, friendly and puts you and your child at ease.