As a parent, you want your kids to be as healthy as possible as often as possible. However, it can sometimes be a struggle knowing the best ways to take care of your kids’ health, especially if they’re too young to properly manage it mostly on their own. Certain aspects of hygiene can go overlooked, and one of the easiest ones to accidentally pass up is dental hygiene. Taking care of your kids’ teeth is an essential part of keeping them healthy, but not all parents know how to do this. If you want your kids to stay as healthy as possible, take a look at these tips.

Proper Brushing Habits

The key to getting your kids to take care of their own dental health later on is to start encouraging good brushing habits early. This can even start before your children’s teeth are fully grown in; before baby teeth grow in, use a washcloth to gently remove potentially harmful bacteria from the gums. This will also help your child get more comfortable with what will eventually become brushing their teeth.

When they are old enough to hold a toothbrush correctly, make sure you show them how to brush correctly and monitor them until you’re confident they can do it by themselves. If they struggle with making brushing a regular habit, try turning it into a fun family game as a means of keeping them motivated. The most important thing is that they brush regularly and learn good habits early, so get them started as soon as they’re able.

Careful With Toothpaste

When brushing, be careful about what toothpaste you use, if you’re using any at all. Many toothpastes designed for adults contain microbeads, which are small plastic beads designed to scrub away food particles. These are shockingly common, and make up a large percentage of the 600 billion pounds of plastic consumed worldwide yearly. However, it’s best to stay away from them for kids, as these can be too abrasive on children’s teeth.

Additionally, don’t automatically assume that your child has to use toothpaste when they clean their teeth. In some cases, the added fluoride in toothpaste can do more harm than good. If your child is younger than age two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless your doctor or dentist tells you to. At this age, your child will get enough fluoride simply from most treated tap water. When purchasing toothpaste, look for formulas specific to children, as dental health needs vary by age.

Regular Dentist Visits

While this particular part of dental care doesn’t come up nearly as frequently as proper brushing habits, taking your children to a pediatric dentist on a regular basis is incredibly important. Baby teeth begin to grow in at around six months, so the AAPD recommends a trip to the dentist before your child’s first birthday. Regular visits (even for baby teeth) can help you identify any dental problems early, so that they don’t worsen as your child grows.

While going to the doctor regularly might seem largely like common sense, it can be a difficult struggle for some families. According to the CDC, approximately one-third of Americans families struggle to pay medical bills, and when money is in short supply, dentist visits can seem like a luxury. However, spending money on regular check ups can help you and your child avoid expensive care later on to repair damage.

Taking care of your child’s dental health is important to keeping them healthy as they grow. For more tips on how to care for your child’s teeth, talk to your local pediatric dentist, as these experts will be able to give you advice specific to your child.

Caring For Baby Teeth

Looking to learn how to care for baby teeth? Learn useful advice on tooth eruption, symptoms, signs and early care so that the transition to a full mouth of healthy teeth can be an easier one for you and your child!