Pediatric Dentistry: Promoting Oral Health in Children

The least expensive and most effective solution for almost any sort of dental problem is prevention. Except in the case of trauma, most dental problems occur due to poor dental care. Thankfully good oral hygiene is easy and cheap. Basic dental care involves brushing your teeth twice a day (or as your dentist recommends), flossing and visiting your dentist once or twice a year for a check-up, even if you aren’t feeling any symptoms.

These habits should be taught to children as soon as possible. Otherwise, it’s very easy for children to forget about brushing regularly when they become teenagers. Here are some recommendations for making it easier for children to naturally practice good oral habits in their lives.

1. Children learn by watching. Set a good example by making dental care a priority for yourself.

Children are very attentive to what you do, more than to what you say. If you insist that your child brush his teeth but you don’t, he’s going to get mixed messages from you. That’s why it’s important for your child to see that you too are following the rules about caring for your teeth. It works better if you brush your teeth at the same time that your child does. This helps the child register brushing teeth as something that’s natural and regular for everyone in the house, regardless of age, as opposed to something that adults force you to do.

2. Don’t associate oral hygiene with punishment or reward.

Don’t make brushing your teeth something your child will view as a kind of punishment or reward. Do not say, for example, “if your brush your teeth, you can watch TV.” Children should not get the message that brushing their teeth is something that they do in order to get a specific result or to avoid a specific result either. It should be like the rising of the sun. It’s something that’s always there, no matter what.

3. Make dental care as fun as possible.

From a child’s point of view, oral hygiene may be boring or annoying. Try to make it as fun as possible for your child. If your child likes Spiderman, get him the toothbrush with an image of Spiderman. If your child likes Dora, get her a cup with an image of Dora to be her “tooth-brushing cup.” Whatever your child asks for related to oral hygiene, it’s probably a good long-term investment if you want him or her to associate tooth brushing with “it reminds me of the fun I had with my parents when we brushed our teeth together.”

4. Prepare your child for his or her first trip to the dentist.

Explain in terms your child will understand what is going to happen (sitting in the chair, opening your mouth, the little mirror, etc.) and make sure that your child is introduced to the dentist and knows how important it is to visit the dentist regularly.

5. Make trips to the dentist enjoyable for you and your children.

If you are planning dental care in Costa Rica, plan outings like a trip to the park or the beach in Costa Rica.

If you are interested in Pediatric Dentists in Costa Rica, fill out the “Help me Find a Dentist” form. A participating dental specialist will reply to your needs.