Whether it’s how to tie their shoes or how to download a new game on your phone without you realizing it, your child is learning a million things right now. They’re picking up new tricks even when you don’t realize it — and right now is the time to ensure you do your part to help them develop excellent dental hygiene. Starting with a solid brushing and flossing regimen now will help your child enjoy a healthy, happy smile for a lifetime to come. Keep reading to learn more from Dr. Barry Polansky, your family dentist in Cherry Hill.
Long-Lasting Smiles Begin in Childhood
Habits that begin in childhood really stick with us — and that includes the regular brushing, flossing, and frequent visits to the dentist that contribute to a healthy smile that lasts for life. Children should visit the dentist for the first time around age one, when their first few teeth are erupting. As they get older, we will begin adding in more treatments to help fight cavities during the most vulnerable years.
As the permanent teeth begin to come in around age five or six, the enamel that covers them is softer and more vulnerable to cavities than your own. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments help protect young teeth from acids and food particles that cause tooth decay. Dental sealants are thin shields that protect the premolars and molars from cavities. Topical fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel for lasting protection.
Developing Positive Habits
How to help your child develop good hygiene habits? Try these tricks.
- Start a good brushing and flossing chart. Keeping track of good habits creates a visual representation that will encourage your little one to keep brushing and flossing.
- If you meet resistance with brushing and flossing, consider creating small rewards for positive behavior.
- Remember to lead by example by maintaining good oral hygiene for yourself. Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly (without complaining!) will show your child that a healthy smile is something to value.
- And of course, don’t forget to talk about why good oral hygiene matters!
Stay Strong on Prevention
The key to helping your child advance through childhood without cavities is a commitment to prevention. Your little one will be able to brush his or her own teeth around the time they can tie their shoes, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be good at it. Continue to monitor and assist their brushing and flossing habits until you are confident they’re doing a proper, thorough job. And don’t slack off on their six month checkups and cleanings! When we see your child’s smile regularly, we will be able to catch decay almost as soon as it forms to provide the most conservative treatment possible.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
When was the last time your little one visited the dentist in Cherry Hill? If it has been longer than six months, don’t delay another day! Schedule an appointment for warm, friendly family dentistry with Dr. Barry Polansky.