How to Protect Your Teeth

3 Tips To Ensure Your Child Grows Up With A Healthy Smile

Most parents want their children to grow into healthy and happy adults. Eating well, exercising, and receiving a great education will help your child succeed, but ensuring they have a healthy set of teeth and appealing smile is also beneficial for their future. Unfortunately, most parents do not know when to start making oral hygiene a priority for their children. With this guide, you will have the tools needed to help your child grow up with a healthy, attractive smile.

Shop Around

Your child's first appointment should not take place at simply any dentist's office. If you are comfortable with your own dentist, ask if they have experience in pediatric dentistry before making an appointment.

If you need to find a completely new dentist for your child, ask friends, family members, and educators for referrals. Your child's dentist should be close to your home to avoid any fatigue and crankiness. In addition, the dentist should offer flexible scheduling, which is helpful for working appointments around naps, daycare, and any extracurricular activities.

Schedule a visit to the office before making an appointment for your child. The office, waiting room, and exam room should offer a comfortable, casual, and fun feel that is kid friendly. This will ease your child's anxiety before their exam.

Timing, Timing, Timing

Just like location is important in real estate, timing is important with your child's first dental visit. The earlier your child learns about oral hygiene, the better. Therefore, most dental professionals recommend a routine exam by your child's first birthday or within 6 months after their first tooth erupts.

During this first appointment, your dentist will inspect your child's mouth to determine which teeth have erupted and which are about to erupt. This helps your dentist understand the speed of your child's dental development. The appointment will also consist of a simple cleaning, which will remove any light tartar and plaque from the teeth before it stains or spreads.

This is a great time for your child to build a relationship with their dentist, who they will be seeing in the future often.

Practice Makes Perfect

Around a year old, your child is barely walking or talking in complete sentences. However, they are learning each day, so you and your dentist should work together to teach your child about dental care. Allow them to pick out a toothbrush in their favorite color or in a fun shape. Practice makes perfect, so make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day. Obviously you'll need to supervise them and provide the toothpaste at first.

Teach them how to hold the toothbrush and move it in circular motions over their teeth. Once they learn how to maneuver the toothbrush, teach them how to add a small amount of water and toothpaste to the bristled end of the brush. Make sure to use a dentist-approved toothpaste that is designed for children.

Once they learn the basic movements, allow them to brush their teeth on their own while you supervise. Use a calm voice if you need to correct them during the process, since getting angry or loud will frighten your child and reduce their desire to brush their teeth.

Use a reward chart to document each day that your child brushes their teeth properly. Place a sticker on each day they are successful. After your child earns stickers for a week or a month, take them to the store to pick out a reward.

Your young child is capable of understanding proper dental health. With these tips, you can teach your child how regular dental exams and proper brushing will help them have a healthy, white, and bright smile. Visit a site like for more information on proper dental practices.