The dental habits your child learns when he is young can affect his oral health for the rest of his life. Consistent and proper oral hygiene, along with regular dental appointments, are the best defenses against developing Periodontal Disease later in life.
First, your child must learn home oral care is a priority. When you teach your child to brush and floss at the correct times each day, he will see dental habits as a natural part of his everyday life.
Second, he can learn to enjoy oral care. From choosing an appropriate toothpaste that he especially likes, to helping him understand the value of healthy foods and beverages, he will become motivated to make healthy choices.
Third, your child’s early visits to the dentist can affect the way he approaches dental visits in the future. You can prepare him for his first visits, provide information about what to expect, and present the visit in a positive manner. When your child has a good relationship with his first dentist, and knows there is no reason to be afraid, he will look forward to the visits throughout the years.
Adults who have poor oral health often lacked proper training when they were children. Tooth decay and gum disease are often the result of many years of neglect. If you do not want your child to have oral health problems when he grows up, make good dental habits a part of his life when he is young. Adults who avoid dental visits often had bad experiences with a dentist when they were children. This can include only visiting a dentist when there is a dental emergency, or forcing a child to see a dentist who is unreasonably harsh. If you want routine dental visits to be a consistent part of his life, make sure his earliest visits are pleasant.
These approaches can help prevent cavities, and build life-long habits for good oral care. You can schedule his first dental visit, and begin practicing home oral care, as soon as he has his first teeth. This will give your child the opportunity to see dental health as a priority, long before he learns to brush his own teeth.
Your child’s dentist is a valuable source of information. You can learn which products are best for your child, how often to schedule appointments, and receive answers to your questions about oral health.
National Children’s Dental Health Month is the ideal time to find more information on this important topic. You can access information on the American Dental Association’s website, and order any publications you find interesting.
The way you approach dental health today will impact your child’s future. He may never have a cavity, or need extensive dental work, if you help him learn good dental habits during his early years. He can have all of the benefits of good oral care.