The best health habits often start at home when we are young. In fact, studies show that kids solidify their habits by age nine! That means, parents, you have nine years to instill in them the values, qualities, and routines you want them to embrace for life. When it comes to dental habits, however, even nine may be too late. At our dental clinic in Seguin, we recommend that you schedule your child’s bi-yearly exam by age seven, but scheduling an initial pediatric appointment as early as age one or whenever your child gets their first baby teeth can be even more beneficial.
Why Start So Young?
Age one may seem too early to start dental habits, but on the contrary, it is a perfect time. As infants, your baby begins learning who to be comfortable with and whom to fear. If you introduce your baby to a dentist when they first get their baby teeth, you are giving them time to become familiar with the office and the provider, especially if you choose a family dentist. Because most dental procedures won’t be done in children until age seven, giving them a few encounters with the dentist at a young age (when they’re just meeting and getting familiar with the dentist) will promote positive feelings and less anxiety as they get closer to needing real dental intervention.
Show Them How It’s Done
Kids establish routines, values, and habits based on what they see you doing. If you are brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing daily, your child will mimic those habits. Start when they are babies and let them watch your dental routine in the morning and evenings. Some studies suggest that even babies as young as 6 months will mimic the toothbrushing action. There are even infant toothbrushes on the market that can feel great on a baby’s gums while they are teething but allow them to follow in your footsteps when it comes to caring for your teeth.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Americans have a diet that is incredibly high in sugar and processed foods. Sugar is the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay in children. You can help them prevent these cavities by teaching them good nutrition. Instead of sodas or sugary juices, opt for water instead. You can still satiate your sweet tooth by choosing colorful and delicious fruits and vegetables that are packed full of vitamins that help strengthen your teeth.
Your Family Dentist
Our dental providers love caring for the entire family – we even have options that allow you to schedule appointments for your whole family on the same day! We are committed to giving you the tools to help care for your teeth, so you can instill those habits in your children. We can’t wait to meet you at Premier Dental Center in Seguin. New patients can schedule their first exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays for just $59.