- Parents choose what babies and young children eat. Parents usually introduce children to the same foods that they eat. If children are given a healthy, balanced diet at an early age they are much more likely to choose a healthy diet themselves when they are older.
- If you are constantly snacking on high fat and high sugar snacks your children are likely to do the same. When shopping, plan your meals and also think about healthy food to keep in the house for snacks when you or your children get hungry between meals.
- For more information on a diet that is good for you teeth see this link.
- Give your children a good example to follow by letting them see you brushing your teeth regularly.
- Teach your child about the importance of looking after their teeth. There are books and videos which can make learning fun.
- You will need to brush your child’s teeth until they can learn to do it effectively for themselves from around six years old. Older children will still require encouragement and supervision. Also see post on top toothbrushing tips.
- Children whose parents regularly visit the dentist are more likely to do the same.
- Take your child to visit a dentist before they have any pain or problems. Find a dentist who is good with children. Regular check-ups enable the dentist to assess your child’s risk for developing decay or gum disease and give preventive advice. Any problems can also be seen early and treated or prevented from progressing.
Even if you are anxious, try not to let this show to your child. Avoid making negative remarks about the dentist in front of your children.
Once children get interested in looking after their teeth they can be encouraged to see the dentist as someone who helps them to stay healthy.