Be Your Child’s Healthy-Smile Role Model

If asked how to ensure your child’s good oral health for years to come, most parents would answer that teaching children to care for their teeth properly is the most effective method. These parents would be correct, yet if that was their only solution, then they would be neglecting an important part of their child’s development.

Good oral health, like most of the life lessons that we teach our children, is best taught by example. So, today, we explore how to care for your child’s teeth, and observe how a parent’s example can influence a child’s oral health well beyond their earliest years.

The Early Years of Dental Hygiene

Caring for your child’s teeth should begin before the first tooth even emerges. You can keep your child’s mouth clean by wiping the gums with a clean and damp towel or gauze, especially after feedings and before bed. Once the first tooth emerges, you can brush it with a soft, infant toothbrush and water. Do not use toothpaste until your child is old enough not to swallow it.

Starting a child’s oral hygiene routine early in life will help him/her grow accustomed to dental care sooner. By the time your children are old enough to brush on their own, they will be well-acquainted with the proper way to do it.

A Parent’s Influence

A study conducted by the British Dental Foundation showed that mothers with a strong maternal instinct and better grasp on oral health concepts had teens with significantly better oral health than those whose mothers were not as capable. The study examined the teens’ medical and dental data, alongside interviews of their mothers, spanning backward from the age of 14 to when the teens were age three.

The results exemplified the important role that parental influence plays in a young child’s life, and why all parents should set the example for their children by always practicing good oral hygiene habits. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once, preferably before going to sleep. Also, attend your dental checkup and cleaning as often as your dentist suggests. As good as your home dental care is, professional maintenance is needed to ensure your and your child’s continued good oral health.

filed under: Children's Dental Services, Tips/Advice