A healthy mouth is the expression of a healthy and well functioning body. Dental habits learned in the childhood can help us care for our mouth’s health for a lifetime, saving us a lot of painful and costly procedures. Prevention is key, as it is easier to take care of teeth before they go bad or to correct problems in early childhood. Parents have the duty to teach their young ones about the importance of dental hygiene and to be good role models, taking care of their own smile.
Avoid the bottle mouth
As babies start growing their first set of teeth, they can develop enamel problems or even painful cavities if their mouth in not properly cared for. Keep in mind that children’s teeth are much more sensitive to external factors and as a parent it is your duty to prevent early problems. A parenting web-site explains:
“Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Kids with severe cases might develop cavities and need all of their front teeth pulled (permanent teeth will grow in later).”
You would not want to put your child through the trauma of having his baby teeth removed prematurely just to ensure you a few minutes of peace.
Develop a game around oral hygiene
Kids learn best through playing and most of them are happy to compete for something and get rewards from their parents. As usually they see dental hygiene as a chore and are not willing to make any efforts, it is necessary for parents to get creative, either by storytelling or gamification. Invent a bonus points system for every time your child brushes, much like store coupons, make them collect stars and redeem them for a treat at the end of each week. The Colgate team recommends:
“To make brushing twice a day and flossing more enjoyable, create your own gold star reward system. You and your child can decorate a poster with teeth, toothbrushes, healthy snacks, and other oral health themes to represent the days of the month. Give your child a sticker to put on the poster every time they brush their teeth.”
You can include other items to make it even more fun, like special toothbrush, specially flavored toothpaste or even a reward after going to the dentist and behaving brave about it.
Braces are not torture devices
Most children avoid braces as they are seen as torture devices that make them look nerdy and are difficult to clean, can collect food bits and overall cause the owner to be the target of jokes. However, with a bit of re-framing, you can convince your offspring that braces are another type of fashion items, as nowadays they come in a wide range of styles and that this is the first step to a catwalk smile later in adulthood. A dental practice recommends:
“To create a smile that lasts a lifetime, your child needs teeth that are straight and jaws that are aligned properly. That all begins with the baby teeth; the way they are aligned, when and how they fall out, and how much room they are allowing or not allowing for the emergence of permanent adult teeth. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an orthodontist exam your child while they still have their baby teeth.”
ATX Pediatric Dental Specialists in Austin, another dental practice recommend that you should take your children to the dentist to just meet the doctor before doing any procedures. They should see the practice as a fun place to be and the doctor as a big friend.
For more info about dental services in Austin
Pediatric Dentistry Austin, TX
Endodontist Austin, TX
Located at 5000 Davis Lane, Suite 101
Austin, TX 78749
Phone: (512) 441-6200