When you’re a parent, you always want what’s best for your child, no matter how difficult it is. Your kid’s oral health is no exception. Lots of kids don’t like brushing, flossing, or going to the dentist, so we’ve put together this list of tips to make sure your child grows up with excellent oral health care habits.
Lead by Example
The rule “show, don’t tell” applies to a lot more than just writing. Don’t simply tell your kids that brushing their teeth is important. You have to show them by brushing alongside them. If they see Mommy and Daddy brush their teeth twice a day, it will click in their head that it’s something they should do as well.
Create a Chart
This will help children learn about all the steps involved in brushing and flossing. Make the process more fun by allowing your little one to cut out pictures from magazines to represent each step, or have them practice writing it on their own. Hang this chart up in the bathroom by the sink. Remind them to look at it each time they brush and floss, and follow all the steps.
Expose Them to Educational Media
There are plenty of educational books and TV shows aimed at kid about why it’s important to brush their teeth. If your son or daughter is being rebellious and isn’t listen to you, they might take advice from their favorite cartoon character instead.
Talk About Health Risks
If your child is old enough to understand, teach them about cavities and gum disease. Tell them that if they don’t brush their teeth enough, their teeth could fall out – and not just the ones that are supposed to! If they aren’t quite old enough to understand the consequences of not brushing, tell them that it helps fight stinky breath, and no kid wants that.
Teach Proper Techniques
Make sure your child knows the right way to brush and floss. Walk them through all the correct steps. Let them know that brushing too aggressively actually does more harm than good, as it can wear down the enamel and hurt their teeth.
It’s never too early to teach your kid to take care of their oral health. For more tips, be sure to ask your local pediatric dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Tera Pollock obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1993 from Baylor College of Dentistry, and now practices at Rowlett Dental Kids. She loves treating kids’ precious smiles and helping teens and tweens through those difficult adolescent years. To learn more about instilling good oral habits in your child, contact her at (469) 284-8895.