As our practice name suggests, the Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry cares about the dental health of your entire family. We believe that good oral hygiene habits should be ingrained in a child at a young age, so they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Here, Dr. Darian Hampton shares some tips for teaching your kids smart dental hygiene habits.
Start “Brushing” at a Young Age
The American Dental Association recommends “brushing” your baby’s gums to get them used to the sensation. Wrap a soft washcloth or wet gauze pad around your finger and gently brush their gums after meals and before bed. As teeth start to grow, use a child’s size toothbrush with water, and start flossing when at least two teeth touch.
Pick Out a Toothbrush Together
When your children are old enough, have them help you select their toothbrush. They can look for a toothbrush in their favorite color or decorated with their favorite animal or cartoon. Double-check to ensure the brush is soft-bristled for their comfort.
Make the Experience Exciting
Kids are more likely to brush if they have a positive association with the habit. Kids need to brush for two minutes, twice a day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Pick out a two-minute song that your child loves, and play it as your child brushes their teeth. Or, make up a short story about your child’s toothbrush “saving the day” as they brush. You could also create a finger or sock puppet character to “help” your child brush.
Set a Good Example at the Dentist’s Office
Start regular dental visits by your child’s first birthday, and schedule appointments twice a year. Remember, your child emulates your behavior. If you act anxious or nervous about going to the dentist’s office, your child will notice it. They may be likely to develop their own fear of the dentist. Remain calm and relaxed at the dentist’s office to show your kids that the dentist is not to be feared.
When all else fails, turn to technology! Use the Colgate Tooth Fairy and other fun dental smartphone apps to increase your child’s excitement about brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist.
Contact the Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
To schedule an appointment for you or your child to meet Dr. Darian Hampton, please contact the Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Call (972) 395-9292 and speak to a friendly member of our team today.