Children learn from their parents, so it’s important to set an example when it comes to lifelong responsibilities. Once your child’s baby teeth are gone, it’s up to them to maintain their adult set. As soon as your child is ready to handle their own toothbrush, you can begin teaching them the proper techniques for brushing and flossing, and why it’s so important.
At the dental practice of Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili in Fairfax, Virginia, pediatric dentistry services help keep your child’s teeth healthy, and remedy problems. As a parent, you can help prevent problems by teaching your child the importance of at-home oral hygiene.
The importance of early education
When it comes to dental care, your child’s education should start as soon as possible. Our teeth require daily maintenance for our entire lives, and poor hygiene can quickly lead to problems like cavities, gingivitis, and eventual tooth loss.
There are also social and emotional ramifications: Discolored teeth and bad breath can lead to negative comments and poor self-esteem, and neglecting your child’s teeth can make their visits to the dentist more stressful.
Their childhood experiences are what will shape their adulthood, so you want to make dental hygiene a normal, routine part of their lives. There is room to make mistakes, but their baby teeth are much like training wheels: They will soon be gone, and your child will need the skills to take care of their adult teeth properly.
Preventing cavities in children
The best way to prevent cavities in children is to make brushing and flossing fun. This might seem obvious, but it goes beyond buying your child a fun toothbrush and flavored toothpaste.
Many parents incorporate dental hygiene into their child’s routine as a chore that must be done, and while this might be true, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Instead, follow these tips to make it something your child looks forward to.
- Let them choose the toothbrush and toothpaste, rather than picking it out for them
- Play a short song for the amount of time it takes them to brush
- Brush with them to set a good example
- Use disposable picks to make flossing easier for small children
- Allow your child to stay up “past their bedtime” and read for a while on nights that they brush without fuss
You can also prevent cavities by limiting their sugar intake and increasing how much water they drink; the more they rinse, the better. However, while healthy snacks and water are always good for a growing child, the best prevention against cavities is the right dentist.
Finding the right pediatric dentist
It can be difficult to find good doctors and dentists, especially if your child is sensitive or easily frightened. Dental anxiety is extremely common, and children have a tendency to perpetuate scary ideas among themselves.
The solution? A family dentist. Dr. Yalamanchili is experienced in working with patients of all ages, including children. If your child is nervous about going to the dentist, or you just want to keep things simple and consolidated, taking your entire family to the same clinic can help save time and soothe your child’s anxieties.
To schedule a consultation, call 703-213-5312 or book an appointment online.