How To Maintain Your Children's Dental Health

It's no secret that maintaining your dental health is extremely important. Poor dental health is so serious that it can lead to serious disease and even death. Now that you have children of your own, it's important to establish good dental habits from the time they are tiny. Here are some ideas that might help you be successful in this important aspect of caring for your children.

Find The Right Dentist - Of course, finding a pediatric dentist would be a great idea. However, having the right family dentist is also a good choice. It makes good sense to have one dentist for the entire family. In the first place, it just makes life easier for all of you to head to the same place when it's time for a check up. Additionally, having one dentist means that he or she will be familiar with the any problems that could affect the entire family. Find a dentist that has a friendly and warm personality and who is comfortable with little ones. It's also good for you to meet the rest of the staff and to see for yourself that the office is kid-friendly. Is there a play area in the waiting room? 

Prepare Your Children - Even before they go in for real dental work, it's a great idea to take your children to the dental office. Ask the office manager if the dentist would be willing for your children to sit in the examination chair and to see all of the tools and equipment that will be used. When your children are just toddlers, the dentist will even look into each child's mouth and to gently probe it, thus showing that dental work is not a scary procedure. Before the big day, read books about going to the dentist. Some to consider are Doctor De Soto, Just Going To The Dentist, and The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist.

The Real Thing - After your children have been well prepared to visit the dentist, schedule bi-yearly dental visits. At these visits they'll have their teeth and gums checked, and their teeth will be cleaned. Occasionally x-rays will be ordered. Ask the hygienist to talk to your kids about proper dental home care and about the best snacks. They'll probably be given a little gift bag with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and even a little toy in it. At home, establish a routine of flossing and brushing consistently. One idea is to give your kids a piece of floss to use while they're soaking in the bathtub.

Establish a reward system for each day that your children took good care of their teeth. A simple chart with gold stars or happy faces should do the trick.