High-quality pediatric dental care can set the patient up for a healthy smile well into adulthood. Today, our Santa Monica dentists are sharing information about helping children develop healthy dental habits.
- Good habits start early
Research has shown that young patients who have positive, consistent dental experiences are more likely to carry healthy habits into adulthood. Think of it this way: your children can practice proper dental hygiene techniques on primary teeth, before permanent adult teeth even come in. Childhood is the perfect time to get your kids used to brushing twice a day, and flossing every night. Take this opportunity to teach your children about proper brushing technique—using small circular motions to buff plaque from dental enamel, and brushing for at least two minutes every morning and night.
- Even damage to primary teeth matters
While it is true that a child’s primary teeth will fall out at some point, it is still very important to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Remember, primary teeth are necessary in order for children to develop healthy speech patterns, and in order for them to expand their diets. Primary teeth also serve as “placeholders,” so to speak, for adult teeth; they help to ensure that there will be enough room along your gum line for permanent teeth to emerge. Additionally, infections that begin in a child’s teeth can quickly spread to oral tissues and even the jawbone.
- There are oral hygiene products that are just right for kids
When helping your child establish an oral hygiene routine, take the time to select the right tools for the job. Keep in mind that young children, those that are prone to swallowing toothpaste, should not use formulations that contain fluoride. There are kid-friendly toothpastes on the market that are fluoride-free. You also want to ensure that the head of the brush is small enough to reach your child’s back molars.