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5 Good Oral Hygiene Habits to Instill in Your Children

Did you know that cavities and tooth decay are considered chronic illnesses and are five times more likely to arise in youngsters than asthma and four times more probable than obesity? In the United States, 300,000 children have severe tooth decay, whereas 1.5 million have a less severe kind. 

Good oral health is essential for the development of healthy teeth and the prevention of tooth decay and other more serious health problems later in life. From an early age, parents must teach their children about personal cleanliness. Here is a list of good oral hygiene habits that can help make your kid’s teeth healthy.

1. Help your kid brush their teeth twice a day

There is probably nothing more essential for your child's oral health than ensuring that they wash them properly and on a frequent basis. Brushing your child's teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, using back and forth and up and down strokes, is recommended. Don't forget to encourage kids to wash their tongues and gums to remove the bacteria that may have accumulated there.

Children as young as 6-8 years old can begin brushing on their own. If your child is younger, you will have to assist them in brushing their teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your child's delicate teeth and gums.

2. Explain that flossing is also essential

Flossing is an important part of good dental hygiene, and educating your children on how to do it correctly is essential for maintaining healthy teeth. Initially, you should floss for them so they can observe personally how it should be done each night.

Practice flossing with your kids and educate them on how to gently move the floss between their teeth. It's also a good idea to discuss the value of flossing and how it helps to remove germs that brushing cannot.

3. Pay attention to your child’s diet

This oral hygiene advice is less evident than the others, but your child's diet has a significant influence on the health of their teeth. A healthy, balanced diet will provide children with the nutrients they require for optimal dental health. Multivitamins are another alternative if you are concerned that your child is not receiving enough vitamins from their diet.

You should also inform your kids that sugary meals, drinks, and candies can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. If your children consume these meals, have them rinse their mouths or brush their teeth afterward to remove the sugar. The same is true for children who take sweetened liquid medications: always have them rinse or wash their teeth afterward.

4. Read dental care books to your children

There is no shortage of toothbrush-themed children's stories. Pinterest alone has a myriad of book ideas from parents. When you read to your children about cleaning their teeth, you provide them with two benefits. 

First, you assist to develop in your child a passion for reading that will benefit them throughout their life. Second, you emphasize the importance of brushing your teeth. The best part is that reading to your children is a lovely bonding experience and a terrific way to wind down after a long day.

5. Start dental appointments early

Many kids don't see a dentist until they are beyond the age of two. Children, on the other hand, should have their first dental appointment considerably sooner. Children should visit a kid's dental center within 6 months after the emergence of their first tooth, or by the age of one. 

Taking your child to the dental professional at a young age allows any growing concerns to be identified and addressed early, preventing any problems from escalating. According to the CDC, children who begin seeing the dentist by the age of five have dental expenditures that are 40% cheaper over a five-year period.

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