February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
As a parent, you want your kids to be the healthiest they can be.
Part of building those healthy habits includes educating your children on the importance of good oral hygiene. If you aren’t quite sure how to start, our team here at Advanced Dental Care Indiana has you covered!
In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we are going to review some common questions that can help you improve your child’s oral health.
When should kids start brushing their teeth?
You can start brushing your child’s teeth when they are between the ages of 1 and 2. It’s best to use a soft, child-sized toothbrush. At this age, it isn’t necessary to use toothpaste. Water will do just fine! Just be sure you’re brushing your baby’s teeth at least two times a day for about 2 minutes.
When your child is a little older you can begin using fluoride free, safe to swallow toothpaste. Then once your child is able to spit it out you can switch to a formula that includes fluoride. In most cases, you will need to help your child brush until they are about 7.
What age should you start flossing?
Unlike brushing, there isn’t a definite age to start flossing. You can start teaching your child to floss when their teeth touch. It is recommended to floss at least once a day.
If your child is a little younger, try buying the floss with handles to make it a little easier!
How do I make oral hygiene fun for my kid?
We get it, dental hygiene is hard for kids to enjoy. Especially when they can’t really understand that importance of it. Which is why National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect time to start! Use this month to help educate your kids on the importance of good oral hygiene. Other ways to make it fun include:
- Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Read books or watch interactive videos that touch on oral hygiene.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes and turn it into a game.
- Establish a reward system for good oral habits – stickers are always a good idea!
- Plan something exciting for the child following their dentist appointment
When should kids see a dentist?
It is recommended by the American Dental Association to start seeing a family dentist when your child is 1. This is more precautionary than anything but it gives your dentist a chance to look for any potential issues like starting signs of gum disease. Everyone, including children, should get regular examinations at least two times a year.
Things to Consider During National Children’s Dental Health Month
It’s never too early to start encouraging good dental habits in your children! From the age of 1, you can start brushing your child’s teeth and taking them to the dentist. As they grow, you can start teaching them the importance of daily flossing, diet, and mouth safety on oral hygiene. But more than anything, remember to make it fun for them!
Ready to see the dentist?
Is National Children’s Dental Health Month inspiring you to bring your child – or yourself – to get a dental examination? Dr. Elbrecht of Advanced Dental Care Indiana has two locations to serve patients of all ages better!