Dental hygiene is important at any age, but it is especially important to instil good habits in children so that they get in the habit of healthy dental self-care. Walk your kids down the road to dental success by helping them understand just how important it is to brush their teeth and floss each day. While it may be a hassle at first, if you start working with them at a very young age and make it enjoyable then the lessons, they learn will be well worth it.
Here are a few reasons why you should promote healthy dental hygiene in your children as soon as possible.
Starting Early Sets Them Up for Lifelong Success
You should begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they grow them in. When their teeth are just emerging, you can take a washcloth and give them a little scrub and they will be good to go. If they are used to having their mouth cleaned for as long as they can remember, then cleaning their teeth every day will come much more naturally to them. As soon as they are old enough to understand what you are doing, talk them through to process.
However, be careful not to do it for them for too long. If you give them autonomy once they’ve learned the brushing steps, then they will find it much more enjoyable. Kids oversee very little in their own lives, so they get very excited when they are given the opportunity to do things for themselves.
Because brushing their teeth is something they can do on their own, it will make them feel good to be in charge of themselves. Start with brushing, and move to self-flossing. Let them master one skill at a time, as flossing takes a bit more skill, strength, and coordination.
Leading by Example Guarantees Instilled Healthy Habits
Kids are eternally curious and observant. They want to be just like the people they admire: their parents. Let your children watch you brush your teeth and explain to them what you are doing. When they see that you are exhibiting good oral hygiene they will want to do the same. Kids will also slowly begin to understand that if you have to do it then it must be really important.
It Creates Quality Time Together
Make brushing your teeth a fun, family experience. If you make brushing and flossing less of a chore and more of an activity that is to be looked forward to, then kids will be excited to take part. Try framing it as something they get to do rather than something they have to do.
Let it be something that your whole family does together right before going to sleep. You could couple it with evening story time, or something else that your child enjoys so that the experience will be even more positive. The more happily oral hygiene is framed the more positive your child’s outlook toward it will be.
Fun Ways to Encourage Good Habits
Now that you have a bit of an idea of how to make sure your kids know taking care of their teeth is important, here are few ways to make it fun so that they actually stick with it.
1. Play a Song While they Are Brushing Their Teeth
Play a song that is two minutes long to teach your kids how long they need to brush their teeth while making it fun at the same time. Listening to music will make the task less boring and it will also help the time to pass quicker. If you’re really feeling creative, you can even come up with a tooth brushing dance to help them get the job done.
2. Reward Them for Consistency
Consider utilizing a sticker chart or some sort of incentive if your child remembers to brush their teeth every day for a week. While candy tends to be effective, it may be a good idea to go with something healthier that will not negate all the hard work they just expelled trying to keep their teeth clean. This will entice them to make dental hygiene a priority.
3. Get Fun, Colourful Toothbrushes
Make brushing your teeth fun by getting your kids toothbrushes that are their favourite colour or have their favourite characters on them. If they get to brush their teeth with Dora or Scooby-Doo, then they might be more likely to actually do it.
4. Get Enticing Toothpaste Flavours
The traditional mint flavour of toothpaste may be a big turnoff for the underdeveloped taste buds of children; however, something simpler like strawberry or bubble gum is kid appropriate. If the taste of the toothpaste is good, to your kids then they will be so much more likely to want to brush their teeth than if they find the paste disgusting. We all know how difficult it is to get kids to eat vegetables they don’t like, let alone use unappealing toothpaste. So purchase a product with their favourite fruit flavour.
Get Your Children Used to the Dentist
While all the above techniques are important, perhaps the best thing you can do for your child’s oral health is to find them a quality dentist. At Vellore Woods Dentistry we strive to provide services for children that always keep their comfort and safety in mind.
We know that giving your children a positive dental experience when they are young will shape their outlook for the rest of their lives. We take this very seriously and work hard to make sure that kids have an experience that’s fun and imaginative.
We pride ourselves on providing excellent dental care to people of all ages. If you are interested in treatment for yourself in addition to your children, visit Vellore Woods. It’s never too late or too early to start taking better care of your teeth. If you have any questions about how to exercise proper oral hygiene for yourself or your children, don’t hesitate to contact us!