The lessons your children learn when young tend to stay with them their entire lives. If your child learns good oral hygiene from you, he or she is less likely to develop cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues. If you have a question about oral hygiene or your child's growth and development, Drs. Rebecca and Thomas Nomeland are here to help you. They offer family dentistry services at Lake Marion Dental Care in Lakeville, MN.
Model good oral care habits
Whether your kids are practicing tying their shoes or brushing their teeth, they learn a lot just by watching you. During oral care sessions, explain why it's important to floss and brush.
Brushing and flossing get rid of plaque, a sticky coating that causes cavities and can make gums sore and red. If they brush in the morning and evening and floss at least once a day, they can prevent cavities and gum disease.
Give your kids the tools they need
Child-sized toothbrushes make it much easier to clean teeth in small mouths. As your children grow, they can eventually begin to use adult toothbrushes. Replace your child's toothbrush every three months or once it begins to look worn.
Dental floss is another essential oral hygiene tool. Using floss requires good manual dexterity and may be difficult for young children. Show them the correct way to floss but don't be surprised if they can't quite master the task. They'll probably need a little help flossing and brushing until they're 7 or older.
Teach kids how to brush
Children can become a little too enthusiastic when they brush. Brushing too hard can erode tooth enamel or irritate or damage the gums. When your kids brush, make sure they hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use short, gentle strokes to clean every exposed surface of the teeth.
Both kids and adults only need to apply a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste to the brush. If your child only has a few teeth, use a riced-size spot of toothpaste.
Make dental checkups part of your child's routine
Regular checkups and cleanings are essential to your child's oral health. Cleanings remove plaque and tartar, substances that cause cavities and gum disease. The exam conducted by your Lakeville dentists helps them spot tooth decay, gum disease and issues that may affect the growth and development of your child's teeth, mouth and jaw.
Do you need to schedule a checkup for your son or daughter? For checkups or other family dentistry needs, call your dentists in Lakeville, MN, Drs. Rebecca and Thomas Nomeland, at (952) 985-8885 to make an appointment.