If anyone in your family has unhealthy teeth and gums, the domino effect on future oral and overall health is scarier than you may realize. Certain dangerous health conditions (heart disease, strokes, cancer, Alzheimer’s) are all linked to the bacteria which breed in your mouth. If you want to eradicate these “bad guys” so you and your family’s oral-systemic health is as good as it possible, you must keep up with your preventive dental care.
Explain the Purpose of Oral Hygiene
Most children aren’t likely to feel terribly excited about brushing their teeth. One of the most common complaints of patients who are also parents is how to inspire their children to properly clean their teeth without a huge struggle. Kids are naturally inquisitive, so try talking to them about the importance of dental health, and implications of neglect. “Do it because I said so,” doesn’t tend to go very far with our modern day American children. Capitalize on their natural intelligence by highlighting the reasons behind wanting them to floss and brush their teeth with care.
Children Under 9-years-old
If you have children under the age of 9, strike while the iron is hot to instill good dental habits. A simple scrubbing technique should begin as early as possible. Be sure your little one is involved in choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste flavor they are excited about. Encourage your child to scrub their teeth for 30 seconds on each quadrant, for two minutes total. Using a timer helps make oral hygiene time fun and complete for your little one. Consider brushing your teeth next to your son or daughter to model exactly how it should be done.
Adolescents and Teens
Adolescents and teenagers between 10 and 15 years-old should be well aware of the importance of oral hygiene. In addition to the normal scrubbing techniques that they’ve implemented for years, encourage your older offspring to also add circular motions with the bristles of their toothbrush. You may even consider getting them an electric toothbrush to make things simple and consistent. This vibrating action massages gum tissues which become highly susceptible to periodontal disease due to diet and hormonal changes.
About Dr. Stewart
James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.