Scraping. Picking. Prodding. Flossing. Drilling. Does any of that sound familiar? Do these words soothe and calm you? My guess is no. If anything, these words bring angst, uneasiness and maybe even fear. Going to the dentist as a kid was never a pleasant experience for me. Never. My guess is going to the dentist is still not a pleasurable experience for you.
As a child, I remember several syringes of what seemed like copious amounts of numbing solution being slipped beneath the surface of my gums. There was also poking and prodding. Sitting in that ugly gray chair, I remember feeling invisible. Some man or woman would throw orders at me about my need to floss and brush regularly. But the truth is, at home, only brushing in the morning was routine and heavily emphasized. At night,…not so much.
Many years later my experience at the dentist office has shifted. I know that I am doing everything I should to keep my teeth around for a long time. It’s not just about oral health. It’s about cardiovascular health and overall well being.
[Tweet “I don’t want the chains of dental anguish taking root in our home”]. So far so good. Rain Drop LOVES going to the dentist.
Good dental hygiene begins before the first tooth pops into your baby’s mouth and continues long after the secondary teeth come in. So since February is National Children’s Dental Health month, I’m sharing some tips on how to keep your kids smiling at the dentist.
Pick a Good One
Getting a good pediatric dentist is an important step in making sure your child’s first memories at the dentist are pleasant and not painful. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental visit by age one or within 6 months of when their first tooth erupts.
Too often, a child’s first visit to the dentist is after a tooth ache or a chipped tooth. The first visit to the dentist should be a fun and pleasurable experience. So start early and make sure you find a dentist office that specializes in pediatric dentistry. It will make all the difference for your little patient.
Go In Between
Good dental hygiene is more than just about the toothbrush. Make sure to floss between those teeth as tiny spaces are a hot bed for cavities. Use floss picks as opposed to traditional dental floss for easy grip and added control.
Use the right tools
Besides floss picks, be sure to get your children bright colorful toothbrushes for their twice a day brushing. Take them to the store and make a big deal out of it. There are even flavored rinses and mouthwashes for little mouths too. Did someone say bubble gum ?
Limit the Sweet Stuff
Candy, cookies, pancakes and milkshakes have a place in childhood. But that place is limited and it’s not for right before bed or nap time. Make sure you are brushing your children’s teeth twice a day (once in the morning and right before bed), to limit the sticky stuff. Have your child rinse their mouth with water after having particularly sweet snacks.
Keeping our own teeth healthy and clean is hard enough without having to do it for your kids too. But the thing is, healthy mouths are happy mouths. Following the 2:2:2 rule encourage brushers to brush and floss their teeth twice a day, visit their dentist twice a year and brush minimally for 2 minutes each time. It’s an easy to apply rule that will help avoid any toothaches to come.
While you’re at it, don’t forget that toothbrushes need to be replaced optimally every 3-4 months. Amazon Prime offers free 2 day shipping to members, so you won’t even have to go to the store.
Teach your children how to keep their teeth healthier today, so that they will have a brighter, happier and more toothy tomorrow.
My favorite book that gets kids brushing: