Pediatric Dental CareWith children especially small children everything can be a battle. Every parent knows how something small and simple can quickly turn into a problem when your child just doesn’t want to cooperate. A smart parent learns how to pick and choose these battles, knowing when to hold firm and when to give a little. You always want what’s best for your child, but sometimes what is best is not necessarily what the child wants to hear.

For some kids, the task of brushing their teeth is one of those things that can become a struggle. Even if you do everything you can to make it fun and comfortable for the child, they may not be in the mood from time to time. However, oral hygiene is important for people of all ages, so finding a way to get this done on a regular basis is in your child’s best interest.

So, why is it important for kids to brush their teeth? Let’s take a look at a few key points.

Getting Off to a Good Start

When teeth are new, they are clean. Obviously, when they first move into the mouth, they have not yet been exposed to things like sugar and other damaging substances. If you can establish a reliable teeth brushing routine with your children right from the start, you’ll give them a good chance of maintaining oral health for years to come. You can’t protect teeth from everything that is going to come their way during life, but you can take a big step in the right direction by brushing regularly.

Even though your young children may not be eating much in the way of solid food when their teeth first come in, it is still important to care for those teeth. In addition to keeping those first teeth as clean as possible, you’ll also be setting a good precedent moving forward. With this habit established as early as your child can remember, he or she will just think of it as part of day to day life. Rather than trying to introduce the idea of brushing teeth when your child is old enough to argue, get started young and it should carry forward without any trouble. From this daily habit, you will help your child avoid periodontal diseases that can lead to tooth loss. Ideal Family Dentistry on the subject of preventing periodontal diseases said, "You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy."

Part of a Helpful Bedtime Routine

In the introduction to this article, we talked about how anything can turn into a battle with a child. That is especially true with bedtime. If you are a parent, you probably shuddered at the mention of bedtime battles, as they can be the toughest part of the day for many families. Your small child just wants to keep playing and you just want to get some rest. While there may not be a surefire way to fix the bedtime blues, establishing a consistent routine does help many children.

And, of course, you can include a few minutes for brushing teeth as part of that routine. This will just be another piece of the bedtime puzzle, and hopefully, something that signals to the child that it is time to get ready for sleep. In addition to brushing at night, it is also a good idea to have your child brush his or her teeth another time during the day. For most people, it makes sense to fit this other brushing in sometime during the morning hours.

Those First Teeth Are Staying a While

It may be tempting to think that the care of your child’s baby teeth isn’t particularly important since they aren’t permanent. Don’t make this mistake. While it’s true that baby teeth are going to be replaced at some point, they still have years of work to do and they should be cared for in that time. Some baby teeth may last as long as a decade before they are replaced, meaning it is important to brush them regularly right from the start. If a tooth is neglected, it can easily run into trouble before it is due to be replaced by an adult tooth.

Establish a Pattern of Overall Hygiene

In addition to the importance of oral hygiene, your children are likely to learn about the importance of overall personal hygiene through a regular brushing habit. There are many more personal care tasks to be handled each day in addition to brushing, such as washing hands, taking a bath or shower, etc. It’s never too early to start establishing good habits for your kids, which should make life easier on all of you as the years go by.

There is also something to be said here for the benefits of learning personal responsibility through hygiene. At first, you need to do everything for your children, but that quickly changes as they grow. As more and more of the responsibilities are passed onto them, you need to be sure they are ready to pick up where you left off. Teaching them the importance of caring for their body is just one way you can help them learn to take care of their own life all the way around. While most parents don’t want to see their kids grow up too quickly, there is also great pride in watching them take care of themselves successfully.

At Lakeside Dental in Moses Lake, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family. We think it is extremely important for kids to get off to a good start when it comes to oral health, and we’d be proud to be a part of making that happen. If you would like more information on what you can do to improve your children’s oral health, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact us right away.