As a parent, it is crucial that you start teaching your kids about good dental hygiene as early as possible. Getting them to start caring about brushing and flossing their teeth at a young age ensures that they not only prevent potential oral health problems (gingivitis, cavities) but develop good habits that will last a lifetime.
However, getting kids to follow a good oral hygiene routine is easier said than done. But with the following tips and tricks, steering them in the right direction shouldn’t be too challenging.
Promote Healthy Eating Habits
It is a well-known fact that consuming excess sugar can lead to tooth decay (which leads to cavities if left unaddressed) and foods like candy, ice cream, and other sweet treats usually contain high amounts of sugar.
While you may not necessarily need to prevent your kids from consuming sugar entirely, moderation and foods low in sugar are advised.
By promoting healthy eating habits in your kids, you are essentially minimising their risk of getting tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems.
Take Them for Check-ups With the Dentist
This should be done at least once a year after your child gets their first teeth. Starting this early ensures that your child doesn’t develop any fear of going to the dentist. Other ways to ensure that your child doesn’t develop a fear of the dentist include; showing excitement about dental visits, taking them along with you to your dentist’s appointments, offering rewards, and, of course, finding a reliable dental practice where your child can get their check-ups in a comfortable and friendly environment.
As your kids grow older, these dental check-ups provide an opportunity for the dentist to look for early signs of teeth damage or malocclusions and provide the necessary treatment. Such preventative treatment will also go a long way in helping your kids avoid complicated dental procedures in the future.
Invest in Some fun Supplies (Toothbrushes, Water Floss and Toothpaste):
Children love to see their favourite characters on items around the home, so finding toothbrushes and toothpaste that have your child’s favourite character on them might be a good way to get them excited about brushing. Electric toothbrushes are also a great idea, as your child can turn the brush on and off and switch the settings, all of which are fun ways to encourage regular brushing.
Water floss is another good investment. They are a great alternative to regular dental floss, and it is easier for kids to learn how to use them.
Be a Good Role Model
Children pick up on your good (and bad) habits, so it is important to let them watch you carry out your daily dental hygiene routine. Letting your kids watch you brush and floss easily encourages them to join you. Alternatively, you can brush along with them every morning and night.
Use Stories and Songs to Teach Them About Oral Hygiene
If there is something children love, it’s a good story or catchy song. In fact, studies have shown that children can listen to their favourite song several times a day, so why not take advantage of this to teach them valuable lessons about dental hygiene? Make up fun stories and songs about teeth brushing, and don’t forget to include their favourite characters. Showing them fun, animated videos about dental hygiene can also help.
Rewarding your child for brushing and flossing can be a way to encourage good oral hygiene habits. Remember to start small with the rewards (from a daily basis to a weekly and monthly basis) and avoid sugary incentives like candy or ice cream, as the goal here is to encourage healthier eating habits. Opt for rewards such as; gold stars, stickers, and toys.
Teaching your kids about good dental hygiene practices at an early age is very important. Apart from helping them develop healthy and lasting oral habits, it is a way for them to avoid potentially serious oral health issues. Also, it always helps when you have an enthusiastic team of staff to welcome the kids, just like the staff at Sherwood Park Dental.