Quality oral care should begin when a child is very young (it’s good practice to scrub a baby’s gums even before teeth have sprouted, as bacteria can still accumulate on the gums). Remember that it’s important for your child to get regular checkups, twice yearly. Bring them for regular checkups with you. A child that’s exposed to the dentist’s office early, will be less likely to develop into a dentist-fearing adult.
Age Appropriate Dental Habits to be performed at home
Under the age of six—yes there are some exceptions here, so know what your child is capable of—your child might not have the fine motor skills mastered to brush his or her teeth. Oftentimes, early on, age three-plus, it’s important to give the child the autonomous feeling of brushing his or her own teeth, however the parent can either start the brushing or finish it, ensuring that the child’s mouth has been cleaned.
One idea is for the parent to brush the child’s teeth well to start, and then allow the child to experiment with the toothbrush in their own mouth—these exploratory sessions allow the child to feel out the angles at which to hold a toothbrush and also develop a greater comfort with the action of tooth brushing.
As a child’s mouth develops, teach the child to broaden the cleaning area, brushing the backs of molars, etc. As the child ages—for practical purposes let’s say after the age of six, and before the age of twelve—it’s important to encourage the child to continue healthy brushing habits. For most children at this age to be left alone to brush his or her teeth means that teeth won’t get brushed.
Kids of this age might even resist tooth brushing so much, they might go to the sink and run the water over the toothbrush if they need some fake-evidence that the chore was completed. After the age of twelve is when a child’s dental health will more than likely engrain in his or her everyday routine—again, this is relative to the person.
For the child in this age group to develop quality brushing and flossing habits, and to understand that the dentist is someone to be visited regularly, and to not be feared, is to set them on a course of quality dental health.
Contact Billing’s Best Dentist for all of your dental and oral health care needs.