Instilling good oral hygiene habits in your kids will ensure they deal with less dental issues over the course of their lives. When a child learns the importance of taking proper care of his/her teeth early in life, these habits are more likely to last an entire lifetime.
Five tips for teaching kids good oral hygiene habits
1. Teach them early on
Children are very impressionable when they are young, so adults need to take advantage of this time and teach them the importance of taking proper care of their teeth and gums. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking a child to the dentist before his/her first birthday.
Baby teeth are just as susceptible to tooth decay as permanent ones, while also being able to get cavities and toothaches. A pediatric dentist can also give parents crucial advice on how to take proper care of a child's teeth. The younger years are also the best time to educate a child to avoid bad habits like finger sucking or nail biting – which can damage teeth.
Good oral hygiene does not stop there. Parents should also teach children the importance of brushing and flossing daily. It is not uncommon for children to find these tasks boring, but parents can help them form good habits by supervising them and setting a good example. By the time the children grow up, these things will be second nature to them.
2. Let them feel in control
There is a wide variety of oral cleaning products, so allow the child to personalize their oral routine by respecting their choices. Let him/her pick the toothbrush and toothpaste that appeal to a personal style. This ability to choose can make tasks like brushing a lot more fun.
There are a wide variety of toothpaste flavors. Allowing a child to use one he/she finds appealing will give him/her something to look forward to during brushing or flossing sessions. Just make sure whatever products the child decides to go with are approved by the FDA.
3. Reward good behavior
Parents do not need to feel too guilty if they have to bribe a child once in a while to keep them interested in proper oral hygiene. It is important for the parents to not make it a daily occurrence, but it is okay to bribe kids with a gift for good behavior from time to time. For example, if a child loves to bite on his or her nails, the parent can promise to take them to a fun place if he/she stops doing it for a couple of weeks.
4. Teach the importance of oral hygiene
The more children know about the consequences of failing to properly clean their teeth and gums, the less likely they are to miss cleaning sessions. Parents can give their children access to kid-friendly materials that teach the importance of properly cleaning their mouths. For information on these sources, give us a call and schedule an appointment.
5. Stick to the routine
By incorporating good dental care into a children's daily routine, they will eventually start doing it on their own. The most important thing is that parents stick to the same routine until it becomes natural for the child. That includes little things like brushing before bed.
What to learn more about dental hygiene for kids? Contact one of our dentists today.
Request an appointment in our Auburn dentist office here: https://pier210dental.com.
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