Teaching Children Good Dental Habits
When over 20% of children ages 5-11 in our country have untreated tooth decay, children’s dental habits have room for improvement. Children who practice good dental habits are significantly less likely to get cavities. With developing good habits, using fluoride, and possibly getting sealants, the oral health of our children nationwide can improve dramatically. Although our team at Providence Dental Health will always enjoy healthy habits with your kids while they are in office, good dental health really does start at home. You can help your children develop the habits they will need to prioritize their oral health now and for their lifetime. Consider the following tips to help your children make oral health a part of their routine:
- Make it Fun—Two minutes of TV time passes quickly, but two minutes of tooth brushing can seem like an eternity for a small child. Find ways to make the process fun. You could get a toothbrush which has a timer or a song. You could sing a song, read them a book about tooth brushing, or even show them a short video while they brush.
- Give Them Choices—There are a variety of colors and characters available on toothbrushes. Let your child choose one that they will be excited about using. Also, there are several different toothpaste flavors. Give them the choice of which flavor sounds the best. Make sure to remind them to spit it out, no matter how tasty it is.
- Be Consistent—Children should brush their teeth after each meal. Regardless of how busy life gets, make it a priority to have your children brush consistently. Habits are only formed through consistency. Tooth brushing needs to become as routine as going to the potty, taking a bath, or eating a snack.
- Reward Good Habits—Rewards systems can be helpful for instilling good habits. Perhaps your child could get a sticker for every time they clean their teeth properly. They could collect ten stickers and then receive a small prize or privilege. This is just another opportunity to amp up the fun and celebrate their successes.
- Talk to Your Children About Oral Health—Although your children do not need to know the intricacies of oral cancer, they do need to understand the importance of proper dental habits and the impact of sugar on their teeth. If they understand why it matters, they will be less likely to fight your efforts to establish a regimen.
- Model by Example—You need to set an example for your child. If you are not following recommended dental habits, you cannot expect your child to prioritize their oral health. You can even bring your toothbrush in their bathroom and make it a group activity. Leading by example is crucial.
- Keep Up with Regular Dental Visits—Even if you and your children are keeping up with dental routines, you need to make sure to visit Providence Dental Spa for your cleanings. We recommend cleanings twice a year. There are some hard to reach places which can be difficult to reach at home. Also, we can screen for oral cancer and address any possible issues.
Set your children’s smiles up for a bright future. Help them establish proper dental habits that can last a lifetime. If you or your child are due for a cleaning, contact Providence Dental Spa today!