Good dental health is a lifelong journey that begins almost as soon as parents bring their new baby home from the hospital. For the first few years it’s up to them to take good care of their child’s teeth. At William J. Stewart DDS in San Antonio, we can help.
Those teeth usually start coming in during the first year of life, and that’s when we like to see your child for their very first checkup. As they grow into the Terrible Twos it can be a challenge to clean their teeth every day, but daily brushing is as important for their dental health as it is for yours.
How can you make sure they brush without a battle? An effective strategy is to get your child involved in the process. Here are a few ideas:
- Toothbrush. There are many different kinds of toothbrushes designed just for kids. In addition to the smaller brush head, most feature fun designs: movie or cartoon characters. Take your child to the store to choose one.
- Toothpaste. Kids can choose a favorite toothpaste, too. There are lots of flavors out there, made with kids in mind.
- Read. Find books about the importance dental hygiene, and read them together. (Reading is always good!)
- Use a timer. Kids should brush for two minutes, just like grownups. That can be a long time for a child. Use a timer to make sure they go the distance. Help fill the time by playing their favorite songs, or talking about the things that interest them.
- Rewards. Positive reinforcement is effective. If your youngster brushes, you can reward them with something special: a gold star, or a healthy treat like a slice of apple. (Do not make it candy or some other sugary treat!)
Kids usually need help brushing their teeth until they’re around seven or eight, so you’ll have a stake in this for a long time. They’ll take over soon enough; you may even find that you miss having to help. It’s all part of growing up.
At William J. Stewart DDS in San Antonio we offer complete family dentistry, and are proud that parents from Shavano Park, Leon Springs, and Beorne trust us with their children’s dental health. We also offer restorative dentistry and much more. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!