Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits

What your pediatric dentists in Amherst want you to knoworal hygiene

If you are a parent, one of the most important things you can do is to teach your child good oral hygiene habits. So, how do you do that? That's a great question. Your pediatric dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, NH, want to help you teach your child all about great oral hygiene.

It’s important for you and your child to understand why oral hygiene is important. The plaque that forms on teeth is actually a live bacterial colony, capable of producing poisons that can destroy hard and soft tissue, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It’s easiest if you refer to the bacteria as “tooth bugs” in your child’s mouth.

You should practice good oral hygiene habits of brushing and flossing, and let your child see you doing it. This sets the stage for your child to learn by example. Then, when you and your child are ready for a lesson, follow these steps:

Stand behind your child in front of a mirror. Using a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush your child’s teeth. Use a circular motion to clean all surfaces of all the teeth and along the gumline. Make sure your child is watching in the mirror. When you are finished, have your child demonstrate the correct brushing technique back to you.

Electric toothbrushes are great for kids. The kid-friendly shapes and colors make your child want to brush.

It’s important to teach your child about flossing. Take a small piece of floss and floss your own teeth while your child watches. Then, while you are both in front of a mirror, demonstrate flossing and have your child floss their teeth afterward. At around 8 years of age, your child should be flossing without help.

Floss picks are a great way to get your child to floss. Just as with toothbrushes, floss picks come in kid-friendly colors and shapes made just for kids.

Just remember that your child is never too young to get a cavity. Introduce your child to the benefits of oral hygiene at an early age. For more information about children’s oral hygiene and pediatric dental care call your pediatric dentists at Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst, NH, today!

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