When it comes to healthy dental habits, it’s never too early to start educating your child! When a baby is born, they already have the entire blueprint for their teeth, so dental care really starts at the beginning. As soon as a tooth breaks through the gums, it’s time to start cleaning your child’s mouth regularly. Especially for first-time parents, we know that building these habits can seem overwhelming. That’s why Walton Family Dentistry is here to help.
We serve the Loganville, Grayson and Snellville areas with caring dental services for the whole family, and we can help your child start their dentistry journey today! Our office has family-friendly checkups and educational programs to make healthy habits fun.
Tips to Start Healthy Habits Early
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist by their first birthday or within six months after the first tooth erupts. By the age of three, your child likely has a mouth full of teeth and a list of favorite desserts. Three is also the age where children can start using fluoride toothpastes and should have a foundational understanding of how to care for their teeth. Here are some quick tips to help your kids build healthy habits early:
Make it Fun & Easy
First, ensure that everything your child needs for their dental routine is easily accessible. Keep a stool by the sink and have their toothbrush, toothpaste and floss within reach. You don’t want your child to associate dental care with something only adults do, or something you have to do for them. You’ll also want to try to make the process fun. Consider playing a song your child loves or telling them a silly story while they brush. Dental care should feel like a routine, but not like a chore.
Be the Example
Children look to you first to decide what is normal. If your child sees you enthusiastically cleaning your teeth, or feeling excited to do your dental routine every night, they will adopt the same sentiment. It’s even a good idea to bring your child along on your dentist visits, even if they don’t have an appointment themselves. Seeing you feel confident in the dentist chair will help them feel the same when it’s their turn.
Child-Friendly Dental Products
These days, dental products come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. At the store, let your child choose their favorite color toothbrush or mouthwash cups with their favorite character on them. Some toothbrushes even play songs or have flashing lights that will entertain your child while helping them learn to take care of their teeth.
Education & Goal Setting
Learning about dental health doesn’t have to stay limited to your morning and nighttime routines. There are opportunities everywhere to teach your child about the importance of dental care. Even in silly ways, like taking a look at your pet’s teeth and talking about the difference between their teeth and yours. Setting goals also helps your child’s oral and overall development. Having a chart is a good idea so that your child can see their progress and feel excited about hitting new milestones.
Have a Trusted Dentist
The right dentist can shift your child’s entire view of dental care. If they feel excited to visit the dentist office, most of your battle is already won. At Walton Family Dentistry, we love working with patients of all ages, but we take special care with children. We understand that this is a whole new world for them, and we’re happy to help introduce them to the importance of dental health. If your child is particularly uneasy about visiting the dentist, we recommend bringing them in beforehand to meet the dentist, see the space, and start to feel acclimated to a new setting. From there, we guarantee they’ll feel comfortable in no time, and leave with a little bag of dental goodies!
Make Your Appointment Today!
As we mentioned before, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see the dentist before they turn one. If your child’s teeth have begun breaking through, it’s never too early to bring them in. The sooner they begin their dental journey, the sooner it feels like a normal part of their routine. This can help lessen anxiety and instill healthy, lasting habits as they grow up.
At Walton Family Dentistry, we’re glad to serve Loganville, Grayson and Snellville with trustworthy dental care for all ages. Fostering positive patient relationships is incredibly important to us, and watching patients grow up as we take care of their teeth is a meaningful part of the work we do. Our team looks forward to helping your child build healthy habits. To get started, simply give our office a call or fill out our online contact form today!