You want the very best for your child. You take him to doctor’s appointments on a regular basis, get his teeth cleaned and feed him healthy foods. However, there may be some hidden things you’re doing unintentionally that can impact your child’s long-term oral health. Below are some common mistakes parents make with children’s oral health and how to avoid them.
Mistake # 1 – Letting Your Child Keep His Bottle Too Long
Every child is different. Some are ready to give up the bottle sooner than others. However, letting your child go to bed with that bottle of milk or juice can cause baby bottle tooth decay, or dental carries, and set your child up for oral health problems later on.
The sugars in formula, breast milk or juice can erode enamel and set up an oral environment that promotes bacteria growth and tooth decay. Instead, give your child water in his bottle or at least brush his teeth after the last bottle of the night.
Mistake # 2 – Not Teaching Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
The average parent has a crazy, hectic schedule. It’s easy to simply tell a child to brush his teeth but not make sure he is brushing them thoroughly. And flossing? That is an entirely different battle. However, setting up good brushing and flossing techniques at an early age promotes good oral hygiene techniques for life.
Set up a little timer so your child knows how long to brush. Demonstrate to your child how to brush all the teeth (front, back, top and bottom). If your child is not able to floss on his own, take the time to floss. After meals is a good time to floss, but you can also floss before bed or first thing in the morning. If you’re really in a time crunch, floss the top teeth in the morning and bottom ones at night.
Mistake # 3 – Not Visiting the Dentist Early Enough
There are many reasons to get your child to the dentist at a young age. First, the dentist will spot any serious oral health issues and work to correct them. The dentist can also instruct you on concerns such as thumb sucking and the impact on teeth. Going to the dentist early also helps your child become accustomed to this regular routine. People either fear going to the dentist because they are unfamiliar with the dentist or they had a bad experience at some point.
Take your child to a gentle dentist like those at Dentistry on 7 so he understands that a trip to the dentist is a positive experience.