Good Dental Health Starts Early
To help preserve dental health in later life, it is important to start looking after our teeth and gums early in our lives. That’s why our parents would often push us as children to make sure we brushed our teeth regularly and kept regular appointments with the family dentist.
As the saying goes, ‘old habits die hard’ and by instilling good dental health practices into our children at an early age, we can help to ensure that as they grow older, they autonomously continue those same dental practices throughout their lives.
When children are young, and even before their baby teeth begin to emerge, it’s a good idea to begin to get them used to the feelings and sensations of a clean mouth. Gently cleaning gum tissues with a soft brush or cloth can remove bacteria which can affect baby teeth and cause cavities even before they have developed into the mouth.
Showing a child the correct way to brush teeth and how to floss correctly can help to develop good dental hygiene habits that will carry on through childhood and well into adulthood. However, the teaching of good dental habits is only part of the answer, and in order for children’s’ oral health to really be at its best, then the importance of regular dental checkups with a family dentist cannot be stressed enough.
Introducing a child to the dentist at an early stage can help to build trust and allay any fears of the dental office from forming. The best time to introduce a child to the dentist is often between the ages of 6 months and one year old; this is the period during which the child is likely to be developing their first tooth.
Other factors to consider when teaching a good oral health program include the spread of oral bacteria through kissing; bacteria can be transmitted in this fashion between adult and child, and heighten the risk of tooth decay. Using pacifiers, which are often licked clean subconsciously by parents, and sharing eating utensils can also spread bacteria inadvertently.
To help prevent dental health issues in later life, it is important to build good practices early in the child’s life. A dentist can help to advise on how to reduce risk of dental problems occurring, and together with a regular and effective cleaning program can aid the long-term good health of teeth.