Keeping your teeth in the best shape possible can be tough for even the most diligent of adults. From regular checkups to daily brushing and flossing there are a lot of factors that influence how healthy your teeth and gums stay. With kids it can often be a battle to accomplish even the most basic of hygiene habits and that’s why we’re here to offer five ways that you can help your kids to ensure they have healthy mouths.

1. Establish a good hygiene routine early

As with anything you undergo with children routines can be a major help. Start working at them at a young age – we recommend starting when that first baby tooth pops through – by introducing twice daily brushing routine. You’ll want to make sure that you continue to help your children brush until they’re about 8 years old to make sure they’re not missing any major spots.

We also recommend that you start introducing flossing as soon as your children’s teeth start to touch. That’s when plaque and tartar can start to get trapped.

2. Make the routine fun

Get creative and think of ways that you can make your kids tooth brushing experience something to look forward to. It’s recommended that brushing take place for two minutes each session so pick out a favorite song or songs they have then play the song while they brush. There are some great companies today that have create toothbrushes complete with fun digital apps to help make brushing extra fun. This one from Sonicare could be a great option – brushing plus a game.

3. Have Them Drink Water when thirsty

One of the major culprits in cavities and oral health issues is of course sugar. We know first-hand that kids would prefer juice or milk to water when offered the choice, but giving them water is better for their teeth. Especially before bed we recommend water only because unlike the milk and juice alternatives it doesn’t create cavities. Help encourage this by making water the easiest option available at home and you can even let your child pick out a fun and reusable water bottle from the store.

4. Remove the pacifier by age 3

We know that lots of kids use pacifiers and it can be a great comfort and soother – both for kids and parents. However prolonged use can great problems in the way your children’s teeth line up and possibly even the shape of their mouth. While pacifiers aren’t bad by any stretch we do recommend that you remove it by the time your child’s 3 to help prevent any long-term issues. Talk to your dentist or doctor if you’re kid has reached that age but you’re still having a hard time breaking the habit.

5. Get Regular Checkups

once that first tooth pops through for your baby it’s time to start thinking about getting them in to see a dentist. Establishing care early is great because it establishes a baseline, helps get your little ones used to the visit, and gives parents a resource if there are any emergencies or areas of concern. Early prevention care can save you money in the long run too. Here’s how we handle check-ups starting from an early age.