Kids and oral health — not exactly an easy combination for any parent. If you’re not reminding your kids to brush their teeth before going to bed, you’re having one difficult weekend morning trying to “drag” them to the car to go the dentist. Yes. It’s a scenario most parents have had to experience, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Ensuring better teeth for kids starts as early as possible. In fact, dentists encourage parents to take their kids to the dentist as soon as they have their first birthday. This is the best time to introduce your child to the dentist’s chair and get him used to the environment in a clinic.

dental habits for kidsAs we always say at AllSmiles Orthodontists and Children’s Dentistry, the first dental visit is also the best time to ask the dentist about bad habits that may be harmful to the child’s future development.

Although, if your child has gone from bottle to cup and doesn’t drink in the middle of the night, you can take him to the dentist when he reaches two years old.

As your kid ages, the twice-a-year visits kick in, the X-rays are taken, and preventive oral care measures are recommended. When you introduce your child to oral health care as early as possible, the dental visits and the exams will not feel so daunting to them anymore. There’s no need to drag your kids to the clinic. And there will be no more bargaining with them about brushing their teeth.

Another great way to get your kids to look after their teeth is to make the process fun. Don’t just tell your kids to brush their teeth twice a day and then leave them to it. Brush along with your kids when you can. Make the activity as enjoyable as possible and take that time to build a stronger bond. It may only last for a few minutes but it is those precious few minutes that make for lasting memories.

Don’t just focus on brushing; teach your kids to floss so they make it a habit. You will, of course, have to do it for them when they are four years old, which is the recommended age for flossing.

Now, brushing daily and removing plaque are not the only ways to get better teeth. Diet plays a central role in kids’ oral health, too. A balanced diet allows them to develop strong and decay-resistant teeth. So go for whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in calcium. Ease up on or eliminate sugary and salty foods that lead to weakening of tooth enamel and, consequently, cavities.

Finally, make sure you choose the ideal dentist for your kids. Look for clinics that specialize in infant and kids’ dental care. At AllSmiles, our orthodontists and pedodontists not only have the skills and knowledge to take good care of your kids’ teeth, but they will also be kid-friendly so your kids will love it. Visit our website at http://allsmileskids.com/ and discover how we can help your little ones build healthy dental habits.