If you play your cards right, your child will grow up with a full set of beautiful teeth. The road to good dental hygiene starts early, though. If it were as simple as placing a toothbrush in each child’s hand and letting them go to town, all kids would have great teeth. The truth is, it takes far more than that to get your little one to buy in to hygiene. At Breezy Bay Dental, we want the parents of our young patients to be fully equipped to help their kids establish good oral hygiene habits now so they can enjoy a brilliant smile later in life. Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
- Start early. While you certainly don’t need to bring your baby in for semi-annual appointments, it’s important for them to see a dentist when their first tooth erupts. This will help ensure that their teeth are properly formed and that they’re developmentally on target.
- Be a model. If your child sees you brushing and flossing every night, it normalizes the practice. When it’s time for them to handle their own toothbrush, they’re going to feel so proud to be able to do such a grown up thing on their own.
- Talk about it. Not the long, droning talks that kids dread (and usually tune out), but casual talk. Not big on conversation about teeth? Read books about dentistry. You can also play dentist with stuffed animals and dolls. If you’re really brave, give your child the opportunity to brush your teeth.
- Give them choices. The marketing geniuses at Oral-B, Colgate, and Crest know exactly what kids want; they don’t want the medium green toothbrush, they want Minions and Princesses and Cars. Your child will be be far more likely to brush if they get to pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Bring them to your own dental appointments. If they see that you’re able to relax in that big reclining chair and with metal instruments in your mouth, then they’ll be less anxious when it’s their turn.
- Be consistent. Establish a hygiene routine and stick to it every single day.
We love to see patients of all ages at Breezy Bay Dental. If you or your favorite little one would like to experience patient-centered care in a state-of-the-art facility, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We are located in Palm Harbor, Florida and serve patients from all over Pinellas County.