Did you know that tooth decay is the number one most common chronic childhood disease? In fact, recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 90% of adults have had a cavity in their lifetime. With such high numbers, what can you do to protect your family’s smiles and oral health? Here are some tips from your Westmont family dentist on how to instill healthy habits in your loved ones that last a lifetime.
Introduce Them to Their Dentist Early
Many parents delay their child’s first dental appointment until they have a toothache or cavity, which makes it much more difficult for the dentist to make a positive first impression. Introducing your son or daughter to all the new sights, sounds, and friendly faces of their dentist’s office before they experience any dental issues will allow them to associate oral health care with good memories. This will help them feel more relaxed in the dentist’s chair and more likely to continue getting regular dental checkups as they grow.
Caring for Your Child’s Smile as They Grow
Each stage of your child’s development requires special care to protect their precious smile:
- Infants: Although it’s convenient, putting your baby to bed with their bottle allows the sugars to rest in their mouth for hours and encourage tooth decay. Instead, wipe their gums gently with gauze or a warm washcloth after feedings.
- Toddlers: By the age of two or three, you can start teaching your child how to use a soft bristled toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Pick a consistent time to brush their teeth every night and morning to begin establishing a regular dental routine.
- Children: Your little one should be able to brush on their own by the age of six. However, they should still be supervised to ensure that they’re cleaning those hard-to-reach areas and not swallowing their fluoride toothpaste.
Make Oral Health a Family Priority
How you speak about and act towards oral health plays a key role in how your son or daughter sees it as well. Using positive language when talking about brushing your teeth and seeing the dentist will influence what opinions they form about these matters. Additionally, brushing your teeth alongside your little one keeps them engaged, ensures that they’re brushing properly, and helps you take care of your own smile in the process!
Try these tips from your Westmont dentist to set your child’s oral health up for success. Instilling these healthy habits in your family’s lives now will set them up for years of happy, healthy smiles!
About the Practice
Dr. Jason Hong and Dr. Kathy Lam of Westmont, IL firmly believe that preventive dental care is the best way to achieve optimum oral wellness. That’s why they encourage the whole family to come in every six months for regular dental checkups, which includes a refreshing cleaning and a thorough oral examination. It’s also the perfect time to go over the best ways to take care of smiles of all ages at home, so feel free to contact them with any questions at their website or (630) 789-1555.