Developing a good oral routine care while your child is still young is essential for them to grow up with healthy teeth and an attractive smile. The sooner you get them into a good routine, the more you normalise the need for excellent oral hygiene and a nutritious diet. The benefits can be huge, as your child is more likely to enjoy better oral health for life, and the school holidays are a great time to begin a new oral care routine.
Here are some easy tips to follow before the new school year begins.
- Book Regular Dental Check-ups
If you don’t already do so, ensure your child visits the dentist regularly. We prefer to see children every six months to monitor the growth and development of their teeth closely. Even though your child may still have their baby teeth, these are important and require excellent care to make sure they aren’t lost too soon. These baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth, so when they are ready to erupt, they are more likely to come through in the proper places.
- Get into a Regular Oral Care Routine
Brushing teeth at least twice daily and flossing once a day is important for everybody, but we know children can be in a rush to get to school and are often tempted to skip brushing their teeth. Ideally, begin making tooth brushing a routine from a very young age so kids know it is non-negotiable. Also, aim to make it more fun by allowing your child to choose their own child’s toothbrush, and you may want to buy them their own toothpaste in a flavour they enjoy using.
- Use Positive Reinforcement for Good Oral Hygiene
Praising or rewarding your child for good oral care habits will help them view tooth brushing as a positive habit. As an example, you may want to reward your child for choosing a piece of fruit in the lunchbox rather than a sugary snack.
- Encourage Your Kid to Keep Their Teeth Clean at School
In an ideal world, your child would be able to brush their teeth after every meal, including after school lunch, but this isn’t always practical. However, you can ensure your child always has a bottle of water handy so that they can swish their mouth thoroughly with water after each meal. Encouraging them to get into this habit will help remove loose food particles that would otherwise feed bacteria found in dental plaque and which can increase their risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.