Many children are not yet at an age where they fully appreciate healthy teeth and gums. This can lead to habits that ruin their long-term oral health.
Whether it’s finding a proper pediatric dentist or demonstrating proper tooth brushing techniques, parents can encourage their children to practice good oral hygiene.
Start with a review of their eating habits
Before you even teach kids how to brush teeth properly, they need to be aware of what they’re eating. As you know, what you put and chew in your mouth can affect your overall dental health.
When taken in excess amounts, foods like candy, ice cream, and junk foods can wreak havoc on teeth. This is because sugar is the main culprit when it comes to tooth decay. Sugary foods leave little deposits along the enamel or outer layer of the teeth, where it encourages the growth of cavities.
While children can be allowed to a few occasional indulgences, don’t overdo it.
Set an example
As the saying goes, monkey see, monkey do. Children have a knack for imitating what they see in their immediate surroundings — whether it’s you answering work calls or preparing food in the kitchen. So it’s a good idea to use this prominent trait to your advantage.
When you’re brushing your teeth, make an intentional effort to show them how you do it. This will help impress upon them the proper brushing technique and other best practices. Make sure to demonstrate the appropriate way to floss teeth as well.
After you’re done, encourage them to apply what they’ve observed.
Get kids excited when it’s time to brush their teeth
For adults, a toothbrush is simply a tool to help clear out food and cavities. Nothing is inspiring about it, and that can be a bummer for many children. Kids are always looking to be excited and engaged. If an activity or material doesn’t offer those things, they won’t be motivated to seek it out.
That’s why a lot of parents utilize toothbrushes that have all sorts of gimmicky features. There are toothbrushes whose handles are the torso of Iron Man or other Marvel superheroes. Some toothbrushes can play a song while you’re brushing.
Whatever your kid’s interests are, you’re likely to find the appropriate toothbrush — or even other dental products — that can get them excited to clean their teeth. Seriously consider getting these products, and you might not need to remind your kids about brushing.
Mitigate the fear of seeing the dentist
Similar to the approach above, find a way for your child to see the trip to the dentist as something to look forward to. The best way to do that is to find a pediatric dentist that can make the experience fun.
While some dentists will focus on doing the necessary tasks during checkups, this might prove not very interesting for children. At its worst, they might not cooperate when the dentist tells them to open their mouths. Additionally, some children might even develop irrational fears around dentist checkups.Read more: Things You Need to Know to Find the Right Therapist
When children associate fun activities and incentives with the dentist, you help them reframe how they see the whole experience.
Meta title: How to Help Kids Maintain Good Oral Health
Meta description: Children could care less about their teeth. But as parents, you should help your child understand the importance of dental health early on.