How to Encourage Good Oral Health in Children

How to Encourage Good Oral Health in Children

About 23% of children have cavities in their primary or baby teeth, and among those who have cavities, the average number of teeth impacted by decay is 4.3. Dental decay can happen to a child in any home, but those in low-income households are at higher risk statistically, likely because of limited access to care and resources. 

Encouraging good oral health habits in children can help prevent decay in both baby teeth and permanent teeth. Subsequently, children benefit long-term: 

Encouraging Good Oral Health

There are lots of things you can do at home to encourage healthy habits. 

Practice healthy habits yourself

According to developmental psychologists, children copy what they see. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and choosing nutritious foods and drinks that are low in sugar will encourage your child to do the same.

Read books about oral health

Find library books about brushing your teeth and going to the dentist and read them with your child. Introducing the topic in a fun and colorful way can make the dentist and oral care seem exciting rather than scary or unknown. 

Use a sticker chart

Using a sticker chart or another measurable way to track oral health habits can make brushing their teeth feel like an accomplishment worth celebrating. Dollar store stickers work great (and a checkmark with a colorful marker is free and works just as well)!

Schedule a dental exam early

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist by age one. Not only does it ensure any issues are caught early while treatment is still effective, but it also helps your child learn about the importance of healthy habits and get comfortable with the dentist early. 

Find your local Ideal Dental office to schedule your child’s first appointment. You can book online for your convenience – we know how full your schedule can be with a little one (or little ones) at home.