The habits you teach your kids as a young age will shape their entire future. This is especially true with dental care. Having all your teeth at a more advanced age depends on the habits you have practiced your entire life. While it may seem strange to be thinking about your young ones being elderly people, that is kind of the goal, is it not? And having teeth versus having dentures or missing teeth come down to what you are teaching them now.
Based on multiple dental sources, we have assembled this guide to helping parents teach their kids the best dental habits that will serve them well their whole life.
The at-home basics are as follows:
- Brush twice a day – morning and night. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and appropriate toothpaste for the age of your child. Also, get a mini hour glass that times 3 minutes so they can time their brushing. Kids love to do this and even when they are much older they may still keep using the timer. You can buy these on Amazon or your dentist may have them.
- Floss once per day – If you buy the floss on small plastic holders it is much easier to do. This is probably the most under-taught habit as many adults do not fail to brush but skip flossing frequently.
- Use mouth rinse – There are kid appropriate rinses (read labels) which get them into the habit of using this as well. The American Dental Association does not recommend kids under 6 use mouthwash unless directed to by your dentist. The reason is they may swallow the liquid which is not good for them.
- Limit sugary snacks and hard, tacky candies which can stick to the teeth.
Finding a local area Dentist
If your kids are doing a good job of taking care of their teeth should find going to the dentist enjoyable. Any cleaning should be minor and hearing praise for what a good job they are doing never gets old. If you are going twice a year as recommended, it is unlikely there will be a sudden issue.
Often schools will have programs and there may be low cost or free dental services to help people who may not be able to afford normal costs for seeing a dentist. Search free “city” dentist or low cost “city” dentist to find some of these resources if you need services.
If you have not been seeing a dentist regularly it is a good idea to talk to friends for referrals. Pricing and service vary greatly and going to any random dentist could be pricey.