Little Teeth are a Big Responsibility.
When you become a parent, you’re responsible for teaching a brand new person how to do nearly everything they will ever know. From walking to riding a bike, to (GULP!) driving someday, it’s on you, Mom & Dad! Good oral hygiene habits are just another item on that long list of things to teach your children.
Brush Early, Brush for Life.
Your baby works really hard to cut those first tiny teeth, so help protect their efforts by taking good care of them. Primary teeth are often considered a “practice” set, but they do an important job of keeping the space for the adult teeth coming in behind them. Start washing newborn gums with a washcloth or training toothbrush to get your baby used to the sensation of having their teeth cleaned. Once your baby has teeth, you can gradually move on to a soft-bristled brush, training toothpaste and kid-sized flossers. Good dental care habits can last a lifetime, so start young!
Toddlers are immensely proud of themselves when they do something new on their own, but they are terrible at brushing teeth. Start by letting your child do the first round of brushing themselves as soon as they show interest. When they are done, “help” with a follow-up brushing. As your child gets older, you can let them take over more and more of the brushing routine. You’ll probably have to closely supervise until they reach their tween years, and then you will have to nag them to brush their teeth until they’re out of the house. It’s well worth the effort, and they will thank you when they have all of their teeth in retirement.
Model Desired Behaviour.
You’re on constant display now, so don’t think for a second your kids will let you get away with forcing them to do something you don’t do yourself. When your children see that you brush and floss your own teeth every day, they are more likely to emulate that behaviour. The same goes for regular trips to the dentist. When they see you heading off to your appointment, they will know that regular dental care visits are a part of living a healthy life.