As a parent, you’ll likely have tons of questions about dental care for children.
When should my child start brushing or flossing? When is the best time to take them to the dentist? Does my child need any dental treatment? What can I do if my child loves eating sweets?
It’s natural to be anxious or concerned, so if you're already asking these questions, you're off to a solid start. Early exposure to dental care will help a child establish excellent habits and a positive attitude toward dentistry.
It’s no secret that not everyone enjoys dental visits, so ensuring that these experiences go as efficiently as possible will benefit your child and family. Promoting good dental health in children can take a lot of time and effort, but it will be worthwhile.
Here are some dental tips for children to help you get started.
Show your child that you enjoy taking care of your smile. Let them observe you flossing and brushing your teeth, drinking water, and going to the dentist for routine dental checkups.
Introduce them to dentistry as early as possible by bringing them with you to meet the dental team and explore the dental office. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they knew the dentist and the staff as a family?
Chances are, by the time they are ready to see the dentist, they’ll no longer be surprised by the new surroundings and faces.
Teach your child appropriate brushing techniques and do so with patience. Use a clean, moist cloth to remove debris from a baby's tongue, teeth, and gums.
Once additional teeth erupt adjacently, you may also begin using an age-appropriate toothbrush to clean their teeth. Concentrate on two or three teeth at a time and brush gently. Use small circular motions.
After brushing their teeth, brush their tongue too. Once your child learns to spit, they may begin using fluoridated toothpaste or tooth gel as recommended by the dentist. Continue to supervise their brushing to ensure that they do not ingest toothpaste, and ensure that all tooth surfaces are covered.
Each brushing session should last at least two minutes. But it’s okay to not reach the mark if your child doesn’t want to cooperate or isn’t ready yet.
If your child is starting to brush their teeth, use a timer and avoid hurrying. You may also play their preferred song or video to entertain them.
Even better, you can demonstrate the appropriate brushing techniques by brushing together. The objective is to make dental care enjoyable. Instead of threatening or 'punishing' your child with a dental-related activity, use it as an opportunity for bonding or play.
Debris can become lodged between your child's teeth and in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Make it a habit to floss their teeth daily to prevent plaque build-up and protect their teeth against cavities.
When plaque accumulates on teeth, their gums can become inflamed, which can lead to discomfort. Discuss with your dentist fun floss picks or dental product choices to make your child's oral hygiene routine more enjoyable.
Sugar, starch, and acid are major tooth offenders not only for children but for adults as well.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate them from your child’s diet, and you don’t need to. But, it’s important to limit their intake to keep these food deposits from wreaking havoc on their smile.
Consider giving them a portion during mealtimes when the salivary flow is high due to chewing. This way, you’ll also keep them from snacking throughout the day. Instead of banning sweets in the house, allow them to indulge occasionally or negotiate times when they can consume more.
They can avoid binge eating if they’re routinely exposed to these foods because they won’t feel deprived. Give them water afterward or encourage them to rinse their mouth to keep the residue from clinging to their teeth.
Look for a children’s dentist in your area that your child and family feel comfortable with. You can partner with a general dentist and a dental team with plenty of experience working with young patients.
Winning a child’s trust is a crucial first step, so they’d be more willing to show their mouth and cooperate. It could take some time before they allow the dentist to examine their teeth. But with a proper introduction to dentistry and why it’s important, soon, you’ll see your child communicate with the dentist comfortably and enjoy their time in the dental chair.
Taking them to the dental office will also allow the dentist to monitor the development of their teeth, mouth, and related structures. Potential issues can be quickly detected and addressed. In addition, you can receive guidance on how to effectively care for your child’s smile.
You’re bound to learn more oral health tips for children from dental professionals and even parents who share similar concerns or challenges.
If you’re looking for a child’s dentist in Winnipeg, MB, please contact us at Aqua Dental Wellness. Our dental team is pleased to accommodate children and families.
Like you, we’re parents and guardians too. We enjoy spending time with children and assisting them in maintaining beautiful, wholesome smiles. Get in touch with us today to request an initial consultation with the dentist.