Good dental hygiene is learned at a young age. Adults are in the habit of brushing their teeth before bed because that’s what they were taught to do when they were children. It wasn’t an option, nor a suggestion. As a kid, learning how to properly care for your teeth leaves little question about its importance. Who knows, your child might even find it downright fun to take care of their teeth!
Most baby teeth start to erupt at about six months of age. When you see Tooth #1 start to pop out, that’s when it’s time for the first dental visit. If teeth are taking a little longer to come in, still take your child in to the dentist before their first birthday. Cavities can occur that early in life, so it’s important to start cleaning and prevention as early as possible. ( source ) ( source )
In between office visits for the rest of childhood, you can teach your child some easy, yet important, habits that will help them keep their teeth healthy for life:
1. Caring is not sharing
Be mindful of using your child’s utensils and cleaning pacifiers with your mouth. Cavities are, in fact, contagious, and can be spread through germs alone. It’s that easy, and easier yet to prevent. ( source )
2. Drink water
Giving kids water as a go-to beverage early on helps to instill that habit in them for later, plus the natural fluoride in water helps to protect their teeth from cavities. ( source )
3. Brush for 2 minutes, 2 times every day
As soon as your child is able to brush their own teeth, let them. Teach them proper technique and reinforce adequate amount of time spent brushing. Lastly, ensure the toothpaste they’re using has fluoride. ( source )
4. Help prevent tooth decay
Consult with your dentist to find out if your child should be using dental sealants to prevent this occurrence. ( source )
5. Use big kid cups
Instead of sippy cups, try to get your child to drink out of a regular cup by their first birthday. ( source )
Last, but certainly not least, teach your kids that good dental care is fun, not a chore! Turn it into a game, sing a song, dance around, or give a listen to our brushing playlist for their (and your) enjoyment!