Instilling Good Oral Health at a Young Age

November 26, 2020 / Category: Peterabasdds

Peter Abas, DDS, Inc.

Teaching healthy habits to children at a young age can instill in them a lifetime of good oral health practices. Emphasizing how to properly care for their teeth, developing a routine, and encouraging good nutritional choices all contribute to a strong smile that will last a lifetime. Good habits start at home and by setting a good example, parents can model to children the importance of good oral hygiene.

Brush and Floss Daily

It is recommended that children brush twice a day and floss daily. It is not uncommon for children to want to resist this morning and nightly routine. However, when their parent/guardian exhibits consistent and positive routines around regimented brushing and flossing, it normalizes the behavior and will no longer be met with resistance. Younger children may struggle with their patients to get through flossing. To mitigate this, parents can help their children floss their top teeth in the morning and their bottom teeth in the evening. As children get more confident with the flossing process, hand-held flossing tools with oversized grips can help assist them in completing the process autonomously. A child-sized brush with a rice-grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is all a child needs to take good care of their teeth- and care can begin as soon as they have teeth. Making brushing and flossing a regular family activity will help to build the habit and make it stick.

(Dr. Abas spoke to the students earlier this year, prior to COVID-19.)

Eat a Nutritional Diet

Good eating habits and good oral health are interconnected. In our fast-paced lives, it is not always easy to make the healthy choice as we gravitate towards grabbing something “quick” as we rush through our days. However, enforcing to children how crucial good food and drink choices are to their oral health will help them to make the connection between what we put in our bodies and our teeth. Like exhibiting consistent brushing and flossing to your children, modeling good food choices will highlight the importance of the foods we eat. A diet that is healthy and good for teeth includes: Eating lots of fruits and veggies, increasing calcium intake, and reducing sugar consumption. Introducing nutritious eating habits at a young age will help to ensure your children continue to have healthy teeth and gums.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments

Children can start coming to the dentist for oral checkups as young as one-year-old. By bringing them in at a young age, you will help to develop a positive association with having a dental visit. If you wait too long to introduce your child(ren) to the dentist, they may develop anxiety about going and resist their appointments. Some ways in which you can prepare your child for their first trip is to take them with you when you get your teeth cleaned, so they know what to expect. Additionally, children’s books and activities are another great way to familiarize your child with the dental experience.

Consistency is key! Developing and modeling good oral health care to your children is the best way to develop long-lasting habits. Oral hygiene is a priority in good overall health, and a consistent dental routine will instill that in children. We are here for your family’s oral health care needs! From cleaning to cosmetic dentistry, our knowledgeable and caring staff are here for you! Visit our Facebook page at or give us a call at 949.586.1127 to see how we can help you achieve an award-winning smile!

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We look forward to speaking with you!