Dental care is vitally important to children, but can also prove to be a difficult chore as well. Many parents believe that diligent and thorough dental hygiene habits aren’t really important until permanent teeth begin to break through, but this could not be further from the truth. Developing health dental habits at a young age (even before the emergence of baby teeth) has a lasting impact on a healthy teeth, gums, and mouth in the future. It also helps to establish routine flossing and brushing as a regular habit for kids and adults alike.
Prep and Pep Talk
Kids like to feel prepared and aware of what to expect. There are many good books on the market that introduce kids to oral hygiene techniques and prepare them for their first dental visits in a fun and unintimidating way. Take time to explain to your kid the importance of taking care of their mouth and let them ask questions.
Sing a Song or Set a Timer
Singing a song while your little one brushes your teeth makes the experience go quickly and seem fun. A quick internet search will reveal many tooth brushing songs. Some help time how long a child brushes, while others encourage proper technique with catchy and friendly melodic reminders.
Establish a Positive Relationship with a Dentist
Routine visits to the dentist should be a regular occurrence for your kid. Find a dentist you and your child are comfortable with and visit regularly. If your child trusts their Smile Makers Dental dentist, they will be more willing to go, better behaved, less afraid should an emergency arise, and more likely to continue healthy oral habits into adulthood. By providing a dental history, you can also help a dentist know what kinds of issues your child may be susceptible to.
Help Your Child Take Ownership
Stickers, pennies, and other bribes may help get the routine under way, but the novelty only lasts so long. Teaching your child to take an interest in their oral health is very important. Help make it fun by allowing them to choose their own flossers, tooth brush, and paste. Give them choices, but let them have the final say. Helping them learn to take care of their own teeth will make a lasting impression and prepare them for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Tooth care is often challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a battle. Try to stress the importance while still keeping it light-hearted and fun. Invest in the tools that best speak to your child and encourage them to make healthy choices that help ensure a healthy mouth throughout life.