5 Healthy Oral Habits for Young Children

blog post twoGetting your child’s smile off to the best start is important! At Greenville Family Smiles, your local family dentist office, we know that the best way to create a healthy, beautiful smile for life is by learning good oral hygiene habits early. Brush up on these dental tips, to build a good foundation for your child’s oral health:

Your child’s smile is something that they will have for life - and it’s important that our youngest patients get off to a healthy start from the very beginning. One of the first steps to a cavity-free smile is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.  

Adult Supervision Required - Very young children lack the fine motor skills (and patience) to thoroughly clean their teeth. Until your child has the ability to tie their own shoes, it’s best to have a little help from a parent, to ensure that little teeth are being properly brushed and flossed.

Teach Proper Cleaning Techniques - Encourage a healthy smile by teaching the correct technique for brushing and flossing. Begin by brushing the inside and outside of each tooth, with gentle, circular strokes. Brush in large circles, just two teeth at a time. When it comes to flossing, gently work the floss between the teeth, then curve it into a “C” shape as you slide it up and down just under the gums. For little hands (and big ones), dental flossers may make the job easier. Remember to start flossing when teeth first begin to touch, and that flossing is just as important as brushing.

Use Kid-Friendly Products - Not only do oral care products designed for children encourage fun hygiene habits, but they’re also the better choice. Toothbrushes with smaller heads are better able to fit into tiny mouths, making it easier to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, while you may enjoy the minty flavor of your toothpaste, children have more sensitive palates and prefer the kid-friendly flavors of children’s toothpaste.

Toss That Old Toothbrush - Overused toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and become less effective, as the bristles splay. Change out your child’s toothbrush every three months or each time they get sick. Make it an enjoyable treat to go to the store and pick out a brand new toothbrush, featuring their favorite cartoon character or animal!

See Your Dentist - It’s recommended that children have their first dental checkup no later than their first birthday or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. Keep your child’s smile healthy and bright with a trip to Greenville Family Smiles. Call today to set up an appointment.

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