In an age where the Internet is accessible to almost everybody and mobile gadgets are commonplace, media plays a large part in developing a child’s values. Some social scientists even go so far as to say that children exclusively learn from media. These habits usually last for a lifetime and are eventually passed down to future generations.

Children have brains that act like sponges, absorbing information from their peers, lessons at school, and personal experiences. However, most of the important things in life are learned at home like personal hygiene, particularly oral health care. This is why parents should help their children understand the importance of practicing good oral health habits. Dr. Patrice A. Barber and her staff at Alliance Family Dental in Fayetteville, NC, can help parents educate their children and provide professional dental health assistance.

Parents need to know that good oral hygiene starts even before their children can brush their own teeth. A soft-bristled toothbrush can be used to clean a baby’s mouth as soon as the first tooth emerges, and toddlers can start brushing on their own using small training brushes. This greatly decreases the chances of getting tooth decay during a child’s early years. Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases among children between 6 to 19 years old, but it won’t be a major concern if a child observes good oral hygiene early on.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should bring their kids to a dental office by the time they are a year old. Taking children to the Dr. Barber at Alliance Family Dental on a regular basis can help prevent dental phobias associated with misconceptions about dentistry procedures.

Early education about dental health provides more than health benefits. According to statistics, families with children that practice good oral health care spend 40 percent less on dental care than those that have children who don’t take good care of their oral health. This is because good oral health practices help prevent concerns like tooth decay and gum problems which, in turn, decrease costly medical treatments.

Like most dentists, Dr. Barber would advise parents to stay patient with their children when teaching them proper brushing and flossing techniques. It may take a while before younger children develop good oral health habits, but the end results will be worth it in the long run.