Saturday, 26 February 2011

Good habits for healthy teeth

       Like other habits in life (exercising regularly, eating properly, financial savvy, etc.) it’s best to start kids out on the right foot when it comes to taking care of their teeth. Getting into a regular routine when they’re young will help them keep up the habits into adulthood. Here are some facts and tips to keep in mind when it comes to good habits for healthy teeth.
Good Habits for Healthy TeethKids can brush with toothpaste by age three.
Start Brushing Twice a Day
Although kids will start losing their baby teeth around age five or six, that’s no excuse to wait until elementary school before starting proper dental care; tooth decay can still occur in baby teeth and impact how permanent teeth grow in. When baby’s first tooth arrives, you should start cleaning their gums daily with a wet washcloth but no toothpaste.
When kids are old enough to spit out toothpaste (probably around three years old), they should brush twice a day or after meals with a pea-sized amount of paste. Try to brush for at least three minutes; to make the activity less mundane, play a song on the stereo to pass the time.
Visit the Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist by a child’s first birthday. You can see a pediatric dentist to provide guidance on how to avoid future dental problems. They can also give you advice on proper brushing and flossing techniques and more information about fluoride treatments. Visits to the dentist every six months are also advised.
Create Positive Associations
If your child has that innate fear of the dentist that affects so many kids, try creating a positive association with each trip to the dentist. Make it a tradition to go see a movie together or serve their favorite dinner that evening. Pick anything that will provide a “light at the end of the tunnel” without outright bribing them to make visit without a fuss.

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