Dental Care for Kids: How to Build Healthy Habits Young

dental care for kids

It’s never to early to teach your little ones how to care for their teeth and gums! In fact, starting healthy habits young can set the foundation for a lifetime of great oral health.

Today, we’re sharing some of our top tips on dental care for kids. Keep these handy as they grow, and you can help keep their pint-sized smiles bright!

1. Set a Good Example

As a parent, you already know that children love to mimic anything you do. That’s why it’s so important to model great oral hygiene in front of them!

Let them see you brushing and flossing every morning and night. You can even let them brush your teeth while you brush theirs! If they see you prioritizing your dental health, they’re much more likely to do the same.

2. Make Practice Fun

Is your child old enough to know how to use a toothbrush but still too young to brush on their own? If so, you can help them develop this skill by practicing on a doll or favorite stuffed animal!

Simply purchase a second, spare toothbrush (or use an old one) and let them try their hand at brushing and flossing. You can skip the actual toothpaste and water, of course!

3. Add a Little Music

Wondering how to encourage kids to brush their teeth?

It can be challenging to get even your older kids to brush for the full two minutes recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). To help them stay the course, brush to a favorite song!

There are also tons of dental apps with musical timers to make the time pass quickly. Try Brush DJ to get started!

4. Make It Rewarding

You don’t need to get too elaborate with your reward system, but a little positive reinforcement can go a long way. While they’re still little, you can use simple sticker charts to track your child’s good dental habits. Give them a sticker for every day they remember to brush and floss!

The incentives can range from an extra story at bedtime to a pancake breakfast on the weekend. As they get older, you can remind them that the real reward for sticking to these habits is a healthy, beautiful smile!

5. Meet the Dentist

The ADA recommends taking your child for their first dental checkup within six months of their first tooth coming in, or by their first birthday. Even if they only have one tiny chomper, it’s still helpful to take a tour of your dentist’s office, meet the staff, and get their teeth and gums cleaned.

Introducing your child to the dentist early on can also help them feel at ease during future visits and keep dental anxiety at bay.

The Importance of Dental Care For Kids

The earlier your children learn to embrace and enjoy dental care, the more likely they are to stick with those habits for life. Thankfully, there are easy steps you can take at home to start them on this journey.

By setting a good example, making the steps fun, and visiting your dentist early, you can do your part to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Our team is well-versed on dental care for kids, as well as every other member of your family! Contact us today to learn more or book an appointment.

If you prefer to speak to a team member please call (813) 920-9144

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Rachel Manzanares
Rachel Manzanares
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My father was in town for my sister's wedding and had one of his front fillings come out two days before the wedding. Dr. Cesar Chilmaza was able to get him last minute and did an amazing job. My father said that he did a better job fixing it than the original filling! Not only did he do a great job, he and his staff we so friendly and knowledgeable and did everything in their power to help take care of him. Thanks to Dr. Cesar my sister's wedding photos won't be a disaster!
Sheryl Hoffman
Sheryl Hoffman
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Cesar is amazingly kind and patient with my endless questions. I'm ridiculously terrified of the dentist and they somehow understand my fears while gently coaxing me to follow the treatment plan they recommend. They're also open evenings for those of us still working. Simply put, they're quite delightful!
Blakley Ann
Blakley Ann
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I highly recommend Westchase Smiles Institute. Dr. C is an amazing dentist who cares about his patients. The staff is welcoming and treats you like family.