Children's Oral HygeineWhile February is marked by Valentine’s Day, the month is also national children’s dental health month.

Your children will likely get their fair share of sweets from friends and family this month. Why not show them more love by encouraging good oral hygiene habits that can give them a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime?

The Gift of a Beautiful Smile

You love your kids and want the best for them. Their oral health is just as important as their overall health as they are both interconnected. While you’re paying attention to their overall health, you’re helping to prevent the occurrence of possible oral health issues. When you teach your kids the importance of good oral hygiene and how to properly care for their teeth and gums, you’ll not only help them lower their risk of cavities or gum disease, but you can also help protect them from infections and other ailments that can affect other areas of the body. A beautiful, clean and healthy smile can lead to a happy healthy kid that requires fewer trips to both the doctor’s and dentist’s offices.

Besides both overall and dental health, a beautiful smile will help boost your child’s confidence, assurance and self-esteem. By establishing good oral hygiene routines early on, your child can have a smile he or she is proud of and not afraid to show off. Studies have shown that children and adults who smile and laugh are more liked by peers, seen as leaders, have a positive outlook on life and are generally happier and less stressed.

Good habits early on, can follow a child into adulthood. Beautiful adult smiles will make them more attractive and maybe even more likely to advance in their careers.  Those who aren’t afraid to show off their smile are seen as more approachable and friendlier, attracting friends and opportunities to socialize and greater confidence which hiring managers at companies look for in job candidates and for job promotions.

Starting Early is the Key to Success

The earlier you establish good oral hygiene routines, the better and easier those routines are to keep. Children who are introduced to gum and teeth brushing early on as well as being introduced to the dentist and dental office environment will be less likely to have a fear of the dentist and not put up a fight every six months when they come in for their routine cleaning and oral examination.

Parents can begin caring for their child’s oral health before their child’s first tooth comes in. The gentle massaging of the gums in infants will get them use to the idea of someone touching inside their mouth. It is recommended that children be introduced to their dentist and the dental environment by the time they turn one. By the time your child is two years old, his or her primary teeth should all have come in and have their first professional teeth cleaning and oral examination done. After this point, children should come in every six months for these routine cleanings and check-ups.

There are smaller, kid-sized toothbrushes as well as children’s toothpastes available in flavors kids enjoy. Young children should be supervised and helped when brushing their teeth. By the age of 10 children should be able to brush their teeth unassisted.

Making teeth brushing and flossing at home fun is an effective way to establish a habit of good, proper oral hygiene routines and habits that will last a lifetime. A life-long habit of properly caring for their teeth and gums will give your child a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime as well as a knowledge of the importance of dental care and that great smile can benefit so many areas of their life.

National children’s dental health month is a yearly reminder emphasizing the importance of pediatric oral health and how teaching children early the importance of dental care and health as well as proper oral hygiene techniques and habits. Children who practice good oral care will have the gift of a beautiful smile which can affect both their childhood and adult lives in positive ways. This beautiful smile is only possible through establishing early dental habits.

At Lincoln Dental Associates, we want to help your child have great dental health so he or she can thrive and have a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child if it has been longer than six months since they have had their teeth cleaned and their mouth checked out.