Your baby's teeth form the basis for their future smile. Teeth also affect their feeding habits, speech, and self-esteem.

Unfortunately, one in every five children between ages 5 and 11 has reported at least one decayed tooth and other oral issues. As a parent, you must teach your children proper dental care to establish a good dental hygiene routine as early as possible.

Here are some habits to avoid to help your child get off to a healthy start.

Skipping Dental Appointments

Children should see a pediatric dentist at least once every six months. This allows the dentist to perform a thorough dental examination and other advanced procedures like fluoride treatment, professional cleaning, and diagnostic X-rays. In doing so, they can detect and solve any oral issues early.

However, most parents fail to keep to regular pediatric dental visits and only schedule if there's an alarming dental problem. While skipping dentist visits might seem like an easy way to save money, it puts your child at risk of:

  • Plague buildup
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum diseases
  • Teeth stains
  • Tooth decay

Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears for an expert to look for any signs of decay, cavities, and other oral issues. Depending on the results, your children's dental care specialist will also advise you on the proper ways to care for your baby's teeth. They can also set up a schedule to ensure you keep to your dental appointments.  

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing your child's teeth too hard has two major consequences:

Loss of the Tooth Enamel

Vigorous brushing puts children at risk of premature enamel wear and tear. While the enamel is the hardest part of the tooth, it can easily wear out due to the excess pressure from aggressive brushing. It erodes the enamel to a point where the tooth cannot repair itself.

Eventually, your child may start to experience increased sensitivity and become vulnerable to cavities.

Receding Gums

Aggressive brushing often pushes the gums further backward. The recession will affect how your child's smile looks and may eventually hurt their confidence.

The worst part of it is if the recession progresses, their teeth roots will be exposed. The exposed roots further increase the chances of tooth pain and sensitivity.

Teach your child these general tips of proper brushing so they can use them well into their adult years:

  • Brush with slow, gentle circular strokes along the teeth and gum line
  • Move the toothbrush back and forth to get rid of plaque completely
  • Gently brush for two minutes, 30 seconds on each quadrant of their mouths

Be intentional and put as much effort into your child's dental care as you do yours. Also, pay a visit to an experienced pediatric dentist immediately if you see a problem with your child's teeth.