If you have a healthy smile and excellent oral hygiene practices as an adult, chances are it all started when you were a child. The foundation for dental care starts as young as babyhood. When kids are taught good brushing and flossing technique and are taken to the dentist routinely from a young age, it becomes familiar and routine to them. Not an afterthought, not something that is optional.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to instill the importance of dental care. But at Douglas A. Callow, D.D.S., we can help. Together, we can give your little one the best chance for a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. To schedule an appointment at our Plymouth, MI dental office, call 734-404-7336.
You Don’t Need Teeth to Start a Dental Hygiene Routine
Did you know that you can start a daily routine even before baby’s first tooth emerges? This is a great idea, because it will acclimate your child to the feeling of cleaning his or her mouth, plus cleans the gums of bacteria that can do damage as soon as that first pearly white begins to push through the surface. All you need to do is take a soft, damp cloth and gently wipe the gums. Done!
Once baby does get his or her first tooth, you should start brushing twice a day using an age-appropriate toothbrush with a tiny (rice-sized) smear of fluoride toothpaste.
Baby Teeth Need Dental Care
The American Dental Association recommends that parents schedule their child’s initial dental visit for around the first birthday, or when the first tooth emerges. At these visits, we will clean and examine baby’s mouth, but our focus will be on making him or her feel comfortable in our care. If you have questions about teething or taking care of your child’s teeth, we will be happy to offer advice and guidance.
Tooth Brushing Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
For young kids, taking care of their teeth may seem like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips for making this twice-daily routine a little more lively.
- Look for a two-minute “tooth-brushing song.” This is a fun way of letting kids know when the time is up.
- Let them “brush” a stuffed animal or doll’s teeth as you brush your child’s teeth.
- Let your child brush your teeth.
- Give your kid a sense of control by allowing him or her to choose a toothbrush. It may take some trial and error to find a toothpaste that he or she likes, but doing so will make this time much more pleasant for both of you.
- It’s totally fine to implement a reward system to incentivize kids, be it a sticker chart or a few extra minutes of reading time.
- Look for a fun toothbrushing app designed to turn the daily routine into a game. Yes, they exist!
By modeling good oral hygiene and teaching your kids the importance regular dental visits, you are giving them the foundation they need to keep their teeth and gums in the best condition possible.
To schedule a cleaning and exam with Douglas A. Callow, D.D.S., fill out our convenient online contact form. Or call our office in Plymouth, MI at 734-404-7336.