You teach your kids how to read, how to ride a bike, how to throw a ball — but have you taught them how to take care of their teeth and gums? It’s important to establish healthy oral hygiene habits from an early age, because dental health has a serious impact on one’s overall health and well-being. The earlier children learn how to care for their teeth, the more likely they’ll continue good habits throughout their lives. Your children look to you for guidance; be an example of positive family dentistry for your kids.
Make Dental Hygiene Fun
How can you engage your children in learning how to brush teeth and floss? Make it fun! Let them pick out a special toothbrush of their very own, play music as they brush, and create a game that rewards them for keeping up with brushing and flossing.
Lead by Example
Your children learn habits and behaviors by watching you, so lead them by example; brush your teeth and floss along with them, so they can see how it’s done and learn best practices. These preventive dentistry habits keep teeth and gums healthy.
Visit the Dentist While They’re Young
Children should visit a children’s dentist for the first time by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. Children should visit your family dentist every six months, just like their parents.
Feed Them a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet, low in sugary and starchy foods, helps prevent common dental disease, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The sugar and starch in foods and drinks reacts with the bacteria in our saliva to produce an acid that erodes tooth enamel. When the tooth enamel wears away, there is less protection for the teeth, and teeth become susceptible to tooth decay. Sugars and starches also cause plaque and tartar build-up that leads to gum disease. Plan healthy meals for your kids, and stir them toward making healthy food and drink choices on their own. Establish the understanding that sugary treats should be eaten in moderation and saved for special occasions.
About Dr. Jeffrey Allen & Dr. Neumann
Dr. Jeffrey Allen and Dr. Neumann provide comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call us at (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions, and visit Allen Family Dentistry on Google+ to leave a review.