Families who brush together – have healthier oral health. The saying ‘children learn what they live’ has never had more impact than when applied to developing good oral hygiene habits. Seeing Mom and Dad brush and floss their teeth every day not only becomes a habit that young children want to participate in – but also instills in them the importance of taking care of their teeth and bodies.
SW Calgary Dentist – Dr. Shairoz Meghji of Apple Dental Group – has a family dental practice that is dedicated to ensuring that young patients receive encouragement and coaxing (when needed) to keep their mouths clean and to make smart choices when it comes to snacks and daily habits. Statistics Canada reports that more than forty percent of Canadians don’t ever visit the dentist – and a large portion of this group is young children. More statistics show that dental decay – a dental dilemma that was once considered to be on the decline – is now on the rise again, especially in toddlers and pre-school children; accounting for one-third of all day surgeries for preschoolers.
Dr. Meghji explains that the alarming statistics reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information – CIHI – warrants special attention being paid to young mouths, as dental habits and issues that develop in childhood often plague a person throughout their life. Both the Canadian Dental Association and the Alberta Dental Association recommend that a child see a dentist around age one, or when the first few teeth appear, as taking care of primary teeth is vital to the health and correct eruption cycle of adult teeth. As crazy as it may sound – babies can get cavities, and their teeth need to be cleansed from milk and juice residue to keep bacteria and plaque formation to a minimal. Taking a soft damp cloth and wiping your baby’s gums and teeth after a feed is all it takes to help keep their mouths clean.
Brushing as a family really does have a positive impact on your child regarding the importance of taking care of teeth. Even letting your child brush your teeth before brushing theirs instills in them that oral hygiene is just a routine part of the day that is maintained regardless of age or busyness. Also talking positively about visiting the dentist is probably one of the best things you can do in preparing your child for regular cleanings and exams. Bringing your child to the dentist when you have a general cleaning lets them experience just how easy dental appointments can be – and that maintaining routine dental appointments is a commitment to not only taking care of your teeth – but your entire body.