In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Dr. Keta Heitzler and staff want to remind our patients that proper oral hygiene habits need to be used all year long, not just during the month of February. Children’s Dental Health Month is a starting place, a time to have conversations with your children about why brushing and flossing is important. The dentist families trust for their pediatric preventative dentistry needs can help you start your child’s oral health care off on the right foot.
The First Visit
Your child’s first trip to Little Critter Pediatric Dentistry is a ‘getting-to-know-you’ visit. Children should see a dentist for the first time around their first birthday. At this time a few teeth have erupted from the gums and gentle brushing and flossing helps keep these new teeth healthy. Expect your first visit with our team to be fun and relaxing. We use this time to establish a relationship with your child and to help instill proper oral hygiene habits into their life. We count teeth, sing songs, and show you around our fun office so your child feels at ease now and with future visits.
As your child grows, good oral hygiene habits carry with them. Babies with no teeth yet should have their gums wiped down with a soft cloth a couple times each day. As teeth come in, a toothbrush can be introduced into the regimen. Once two or more teeth are touching, flossing should be added into your regular routine.
Lead by Example
Children learn a lot from their parents and guardians, even from older siblings. Make brushing and flossing a family activity. Let young children see how you care for your smile and they’ll follow suit. Look online to fun videos that stress the importance of brushing and flossing. Many are created to follow the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing. Brushing and flossing helps eliminate plaque which, if left untreated, can cause gum disease down the road.
While young children are still learning to control their toothbrush, it will be necessary for an adult to help. Brushing and flossing is great for teaching fine motor skills in addition to creating good oral hygiene habits. Let your kids try brushing and flossing themselves and then complete the process for them. This way, as they learn, you are ensuring their oral health remains in top shape.
Dental health also promotes healthy snacks. Provide your family with healthy alternatives to junk food. Fruits and vegetables are great snacks for growing kids and help keep teeth and gums healthy. Talk with our Appleton, WI dentist if you are in need of some healthy food suggestions. We’re happy to help and love providing healthy options that benefit smiles of all ages.
Visit our office conveniently located in Appleton, WI or join us on Facebook to find more information regarding great oral hygiene habits that you can practice with your family. Early prevention, regular dental exams, and of course, brushing and flossing will keep young smiles looking amazing and set their oral health up for success.