4 Habits to Teach Your Young Kids About Dental Hygiene

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As your relied upon Waipahu and Mililani dentist, the dental experts at Palola Dental know thafamily brushing teeth togethert good dental hygiene habits should be instilled at a young age. The earlier your child learns good oral hygiene, the earlier you set them up for a life-long healthy smile. But, we know it can be difficult to know what habits you should be teaching your child and at what age — that’s why Palola Dental is here to help! Let’s talk about some dental hygiene habits you should teach your young child about.

Proper Teeth Brushing

Teaching your child how to properly brush their teeth is an excellent first step in creating a great oral hygiene routine for your child. Start with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and show your child how to brush using back and forth and circular motions, making sure to clean along the gumline. Take the time to explain to your child why the brushing motions are important, since brushing along the gums will help prevent gum disease and bad breath. Make sure your child understands they should be brushing at least twice a day — once in the morning and once again before bed is a good routine habit.

One way to help your child understand how good their brushing job was, is to teach them to feel for plaque along their teeth using their tongue. Teeth that feel smooth have been properly cleaned, but if some areas still feel slightly “fuzzy,” then have your child try again, focusing on those areas. You can also check for left-behind plaque by using plaque disclosing tablets — tablets that contain a harmless dye which sticks to plaque when chewed up. This is a great way to help children understand the importance of good brushing habits, as well as a useful tool for parents to check for a job well done.

Regular Flossing

Flossing is one dental hygiene habit even most adults fail at, so it’s important to teach this habit to your child while they’re young. Flossing helps prevent cavities and gingivitis from forming between the teeth and along the gumline by removing food particles, plaque, and the bacteria they carry. Since young children often lack good dexterity, you may want to assist your child hands-on with flossing in order to avoid bleeding or sore gums — at least until they become more proficient at it.

Begin by using a piece of waxed floss, then gently glide the floss back and forth to slide it between each tooth. Use a gentle up and down motion to scrape along the sides of the teeth, removing food and plaque. Teach this to your child as part of their nightly bedtime routine following brushing and you’ll be setting them up for healthy teeth and gums for life!

Minimize Sugar Consumption

While avoiding a diet high in sugar is simply great health advice all-around, it’s also an excellent dental hygiene habit to begin teaching your child as early as possible. Sugar is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to cavity development and tooth decay, so teaching your children to avoid excess sugar and to enjoy healthier foods will make their lives much happier and healthier in the long run. When you do allow your child to indulge in sugary food or drink, make sure it’s followed by plenty of water to help wash away the bacteria that will begin to form on tooth enamel — and brushing twice a day will help keep the cavities at bay, as well!

Have Regular Dental Check-Ups with Your Waipahu Dentist

Since it’s not uncommon for a visit to the dentist to make children nervous, try to explain to your child early on what the dentist does, what they’ll be looking for, and that there shouldn’t be anything to be scared of. Your friendly dentist in Waipahu at Palola Dental will do the utmost to ensure your child is comfortable and at ease during their visit, and will use every opportunity to help teach and instill good dental hygiene habits.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist in Waipahu, HI Today!

If you’re ready to learn more about great dental hygiene habits, your family dentist in Waipahu at Palola Dental is here to help! We offer a variety of dental treatments and services for patients of many ages. From teeth whitening to Invisalign, Waipahu dental expert Dr. Palola has you covered! If you have questions, contact us today or fill out our convenient online form to get started now. We look forward to giving you and your family the tools you need to maintain healthy, beautiful smiles!