It feels so long ago that my first little girl started to brush her teeth on her own. From the moment your little one’s teeth come in, you need to start helping them take care of them. They might get another set later on, but it’s important to look after the first teeth too. They can still get cavities, and you should help to set a precedent for when their adult teeth come in. It might seem like there’s a lot of work to keep your child’s teeth healthy. But there isn’t much to it if you know what you’re doing. Here are some of the key things you need to remember.
Learning to Brush
Children can start brushing their own teeth when they’re toddlers. However, at that age, it’s mostly to get them practicing. Most experts say that kids can’t brush on their own until they’re about seven years old. They need to have the right amount of fine motor skills and dexterity to clean their teeth properly. Until then, you need to make sure you’re supervising and occasionally helping out. But even though they can’t do it independently for a while, they can still practice the skills they need. I’ve had lots of fun getting my kids to make different noises and movements to practice brushing their own teeth.
Going to the Dentist
There’s a bit of debate about when you need to start taking your kids to the dentist. Some experts will say to do it for the first time in before they’re a year old, six months old, or when their first teeth appear. Going to the dentist isn’t just to check up on their teeth. It also helps them to get used to the environment of the dentist’s office. You might prefer to select a pediatric dentist for your child’s check-ups. The dentist will be familiar with any problems that children can face. And they’ll be friendly and know how to put your child at ease.
The Right Diet for Healthy Teeth
Of course, part of looking after your child’s teeth is eating the right things. If you want them to have good habits, it’s best to start them off the right way. Avoiding anything too sugary is a good start. You should also try not to give them starchy things that can get stuck in their teeth, like chips. If you don’t want them to crave sugary and salty snacks all the time, try to avoid having them regularly or even using them as special treats.
Other Teeth Protection
There are other ways you can protect your little one’s teeth. For example, teeth grinding can damage them. There could be several causes of the issue, and it might be solved with anything from a retainer to treatment for anxiety. You should also make sure you protect their teeth when they play a sport. Any sport where they could get hit in the mouth or fall over might require a mouth guard.
Start looking after your children’s teeth early and they will soon learn to do it themselves. It will be one less thing you have to do, but it also means having to watch them grow up.