One of the countless healthy habits we have to teach our children is good oral hygiene. While most parent neglect it when they’re still babies and only have a few teeth (who here relates?), it is really important to teach them while they are still young. Dr. Hattar states that practicing good oral hygiene will build healthy habits and prevent early childhood caries and later tooth decay .
The importance of oral hygiene for kids
The first obvious reason parents should teach their kids proper oral hygiene while they are still young, is to give them the tools to prevent common dental problems such as tooth decay, plaque development, gum disease development and halitosis.
To keep bacteria under control in the body and mouth, good oral care (ie. daily brushing), in addition to their body’s natural defenses. Without good oral hygiene, bacteria can accumulate and lead to infections in the gums and tooth decay. As per Dr. Hattar’s words, tooth decay in baby teeth can have negative effects on kids’ nutrition, speech, and self-esteem among other things, thus affecting their growth.
How to make it a fun habit!
As Dr. Hattar says, the key to helping kids develop good oral hygiene is to make it a fun habit. Make it part of their morning and evening routine and they won’t have to worry about gum disease or tooth decay a day in their life. So, parents, how can you easily do that? Here are some ways to make it fun and build that healthy habit:
- Start from the very first tooth! Even if they only have one tooth, get an infant toothbrush and get brushing, morning and night. Your baby can even continue biting it to soothe his poor teething gums.
- Starting at the age of 2, brushing their teeth should be part of your kids’ morning and evening routines. To make it easier, you can brush together or even as a whole family.
- Choose a fun and colorful toothbrush and let your kids pick their toothpaste flavor. Participating in the process will make them want to practice it more.
- Read books about healthy habits and let them understand why it is so important by explaining how it could impact them.
- Make sure they visit the dentist not later than 12 months of age as recommended by their dentist.
- Avoid or limit sugary foods by explaining their impact on teeth.
Parents! What other tips can you share with us?
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