A lack of access to information is one of the most difficult things for many parents. Even though you have the internet and plenty of people around you who are more than willing to give you advice on how to raise your children, there probably been more than a few “old wives’ tales” that just seem as though it might be better to get the opinions of a professional before doing them. Raising children can be a scary experience, especially if you are first time parent. On the birth of your new child, you are faced with thousands of situations that you probably have no experience with, and ultimately will probably have a difficult time drawing from your own experiences because you don’t remember what your parents did. Even if you do remember how your parents dealt with situations involving children, many times we realize later that the things they did have a negative impact on children’s health. In a nutshell, just because your parents did these things, or someone you know tells you that they work, isn’t enough evidence for you to experiment on your child. When it comes to the oral health and well being of children, it is best to leave the advice that you follow to your pediatric dentist. One of the best decisions that you can make is to choose a pediatric dentist that you trust and take their advice over the advice of your friends. After all, the advice of a professional who is specialized in pediatric dentistry is based on science instead of experimentation.
Aside from picking a dentist that you trust, some of the best advice that you can take is to lead by example for your children. Kids are continually watching adults in order to learn how to deal with certain situations. They’re paying attention to how you brush and floss your teeth, as well as how often you do it. This means that if you want to have your child learn by your example, you are going to need to brush and floss your teeth regularly instead of just telling them to do it. You’re also going to need to teach your children the importance of brushing and flossing and why they should do it. Make sure they have access to a toothbrush by packing a dental kit into their backpack or school supplies, and make sure that they understand why they should brush and floss after snacks and after every meal even if you aren’t around. Teach them to avoid sugary drinks and sweet foods, and if they must drink soda or other sugary drinks to use a straw and brush their teeth after they’re done. Encouraging good behavior like this through example and also through explanations that the child will understand will not only assist in the prevention of cavities today but also will help to create better oral hygiene habits in adolescence and into adulthood. These are the best things that you can do for your child at this stage of their development.