If you’re a parent, you may have noticed your little one eyeing almost everything you do. You smile, or sing, or clap your hands, and they’re likely to imitate your actions. Children want to be just like you. So when it comes to oral hygiene, your Century City cosmetic dentist suggests you teach them properly. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s also a fantastic time to start being a role model for oral health.
Toddlers Imitate Parents
There’s an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, for youngsters, it’s not about flattery, it’s all about mimicking their parents. Specifically, babies typically make faces and toddlers often copy their parent’s movements as a way to learn and bond.
“Among the actions toddlers most love to imitate are household activities, such as sweeping the floor. You’ll also find 1-year-olds grooming themselves, for instance, brushing their teeth or hair when their parents do,” suggests a Parents magazine article.
Since children learn through observation, the best way to help your child is by being a good role model. “Whatever you do,” says your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, “make wise choices and adopt smart behaviors, especially when it comes to dental care.”
Impact of Poor Dental Hygiene on Youngsters
One-fifth of all children aged two to five years old have untreated cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More importantly, although preventable, pediatric cavities are the #1 childhood disease, more common than asthma and hay fever.
A post from the Ad Council notes, “The mouth is the gateway to a person’s overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. Additionally, while dental disease impacts all children, it disproportionately affects children from low-income families and minorities.”
Ultimately, poor dental hygiene can have a life-long negative affect on people. Children need to learn early the importance of good dental care so they carry good habits into adulthood.
Parents Can Help Children with Dental Habits
A Fox post from February 2015 suggests that parents make mistakes when it comes to helping their children with their dental needs. Whether you put your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, leave them to brush their teeth on their own, or neglect the all-important first dentist visit when the first tooth appears, it’s easy to overlook good dental habits.
Parents have the opportunity to help their children develop good dental habits starting with the first tooth. Begin by gently cleaning new teeth with a soft cloth. As children grow and more teeth appear, your Century City cosmetic dentist recommends you move to a child-size, soft toothbrush along with a small dab of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
Ensure your children receive proper dental training and care. Speak with your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist about his recommendations.