Children’s Oral Health: Three Common Mistakes Parents Make

When good oral health habits are established early in childhood, children are more likely to continue to practice these habits through adulthood. This is important because oral health is closely linked to the body’s overall health. Unfortunately, many times parents inadvertently contribute to tooth decay and other oral health concerns through simple mistakes they don’t even realize they’re making. Let’s consider some of the most common oral health mistakes parents make below:

Allowing kids to brush alone. As long as they’re encouraging their kids to brush twice a day, many parents think it’s okay to have their children brush alone. Of course, this isn’t a problem for older kids. However, for kids younger than 8 years old, solo brushing is not ideal. Young kids simply don’t have the necessary motor skills to effectively brush their teeth. So, supervised brushing– with a little extra help– is the best way to promote good oral health.

Offering foods that aren’t good for the teeth.  Of course, foods and drinks that are loaded with sugar aren’t healthy for the teeth. Because most parents are aware of this fact, they often make an effort to limit the amount of sugar their children consume. However, sometimes parents offer snacks that aren’t healthy for the teeth without even realising it. For example, some foods that are good for the body– like raisins– aren’t the best snacks for the teeth. That’s because raisins can easily get caught in the grooves of the teeth. Does this mean parents should never give their children raisins? Of course not. It simply means that it’s important to help children brush their teeth after consuming snacks that aren’t healthy for the teeth.

Not starting dental visits early enough. It is recommended that children visit the dentist by their first birthday, or when their first tooth erupts. Often, however, parents don’t bring their kids to the dentist until they’re 3 or 4 years old. Why is this a problem? Delaying the first dentist visit means that any potential problems don’t have the opportunity to be detected and treated early. It also means that kids are more likely to be fearful of the dentist since check-ups haven’t been a regular part of their routine.

Establishing good oral health habits early on is key to promoting lifelong oral health. For more information, contact us today.

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