Growing up in my household it was very important to have healthy teeth. While I believe that their are several things a person can do to ensure that their teeth is beautiful and healthy, sometimes the state of a person’s teeth is inherited from his or her parent’s. Below I list 5 ways to help your child’s smile be bright and beautiful.
1. Start brushing your child’s gums at least twice a day when he or she is an infant. I used to brush my girls gums and tongue at an early age so they will be use to the routine. I also wanted to prevent thrush on their tongue. We used Baby Orajel Tooth & Gum Cleanser. The toothpaste is OK for children to swallow and does not contain fluoride. When your child is older it is best that they brush after each meal.
2. Brush your toddlers teeth and let them practice on their own. While they are toddlers I generally brush their teeth for about 10 seconds and then I let them practice on their own. Growing up and practicing good hygiene has to be learned, so we make it an exciting time in our home. When you give them a few minutes to practice it helps them learn how to assert their independence.
3. Let your child see you brushing and flossing so they will know that this is a useful habit for him or her to develop for themselves. Children are natural imitators, so encourage them to copy your good behaviors.
4. When your child is old enough to floss. Teach them the correct way to floss after each meal. I remember learning how to brush in kindergarten. The dentist came to visit our classroom and told us how to brush our teeth. She advised us to brush at least 3 or 4 teath at a time and sing “1,2,3, giggle wiggle.” You know, sometimes I find myself singing that little song to myself as I brush. Flossing can be confusing so when your child is old enough to visit the Dentist you may want to ask the dentist to provide your child with his or her first flossing lesson.
5. Make oral hygiene fun by creating songs and picking out kid friendly brushes and toothpaste. A song like the ABC song which is about 26 seconds will encourage your child to brush long enough for their teeth to get clean. I currently do not use toothpaste with flouride, but you can research it and decide what is right for you and your family. Dr. Ruby Gelman has listed 6 kid friendly books that get kids excited about brushing. Check out her list here. One book that my children love at night that mentions teeth brushing is “Night, Night, Baby Bundt: a Recipe For Bedtime” by Jamie Harper.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
More suggestions from TwitterMoms are below:
- Chewing Trident sugar free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help fight cavities.
- Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener in Trident, has been shown to loosen plaque.
- Trident is available in 11 great flavors so kids have lots to choose from!
- Brush: Remind children to brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using no more than a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Eat: Nutritious foods are an important part of keeping children’s smiles healthy and their teeth strong.
- Floss: Have children gently floss once a day to remove food that can get stuck between their teeth and sticky plaque that forms on their teeth. Brushing alone cannot reach all of the surfaces on a tooth.
- Avoid: Try to avoid overindulging in sticky and sugary foods. When kids do have a special treat, make sure they brush and floss afterwards.
- Routine: Remember to get regular dental check-ups. Have them visit a dentist twice a year to make sure that they are taking good care of their teeth and gums.
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