May 16 – June 16, 2016 is National Smile Month. The aim is to promote good oral health by highlighting three important messages, which are:
- Brushing your teeth before going to bed and at least one other time and using a fluoride toothpaste
- Reducing the amount of sugary drinks and food you eat
- Visiting the dentist and going for regular check-ups as determined by the dentist
As parents, we all want our children to enjoy taking care of their teeth as it makes things a lot easier for everyone. With this in mind we thought we’d share a few tips on teaching good dental health to toddlers so we can all start as we mean to go on.
- Let your children see you taking care of your teeth, brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist for your regular check-ups too.
- Help your child brush their teeth twice a day, making sure one of them is the very last thing they do before bedtime. Let them take charge when they want to but make sure they know the motions to use and that they need to brush for two minutes. Using an egg timer or electronic timer is always a good idea.
- You could use a song to help your child know when it’s time to stop brushing their teeth. Play a song they know and enjoy and say it’s time to stop when the song comes to an end.
- Show your child how to use floss.
- Start taking your child to the dentist by the time they reach two years old.
- Limit sugar in the diet and try to remove in-between meal snacks.
- Teach your child that a trip to the dentist is a positive thing and not something that needs to be of any concern. It’s a good idea to treat your own dental phobias if you have any and always remember to be positive about your own visits to the dentist.
Being positive about dental health and visiting the dentist is the best way to help your child develop a positive attitude to dental care for the rest of their lives.
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