Parents who want their children to develop healthy habits know that they need to set the right example. The “Do as I say, not as I do,” approach does not instill confidence in children. This post from David Rice DDS in Elgin IL takes a closer look at this idea.
If we want our child to exercise, we need to get off the couch ourselves. If we want our child to eat an apple for an afternoon snack, we better not be snacking on chips and cookies ourselves. If we routinely stay up late, our adolescent will probably not learn the importance of getting to bed on time.
What about dental health habits? Do our children see us brush carefully after meals? Do our children find water bottles in our car cup holders or empty sports drink cans? Do we schedule twice-yearly dental visits for ourselves and our kids? Do we wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports? Do we floss every night?
Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common childhood health problem, after the common cold? If you have a newborn or toddler, you have an extraordinary opportunity to establish daily habits for lifelong oral health.
If every pre-teen in your neighborhood has at least a few fillings, it may seem that cavities are inevitable. At David Rice DDS, we don’t believe this. There is much you can do to keep your child’s teeth cavity-free.
In fact, there are things to do even before your baby’s first teeth erupt. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle. Wipe milk or formula off their gums with a soft, damp cloth after feeding. Don’t let your infant drink juice all day. If you want your baby or toddler to drink between meals, water is just fine.
When should you bring in your toddler for their first dental check-up? The American Dental Association recommends that a child sees a dentist before their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday.
If your children are older and have had a lot of cavities, don’t give up. It is never too late to improve daily habits to keep teeth healthy. Even if your upbringing didn’t include an emphasis on oral hygiene, you can set your own traditions starting today.
At David Rice DDS in Elgin IL, the dental health of your child, and all of our patients, matters to us. Our services include general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Call us to schedule your next checkup today.