Kids can learn in a number of different ways. If you want your kids to learn about good oral hygiene you can give them information to read or listen to from experts on the topic. You can also ask their dentist to emphasize the important of good oral hygiene during appointments. But, as a parent, the most effective way you can teach your kids about good oral hygiene is by modeling it for them. Your kids will see your actions in relation to oral hygiene and (hopefully) learn some good habits.
Talk about how the foods you eat impact your teeth
As an adult, you know that there are certain foods and substances that can have a negative impact on your teeth. Some foods make decay more likely while others can damage enamel when consumed in excess. And, there are foods that can provide important nutrients for teeth. Talk about these things around your kids. If you are having a piece of candy, mention the fact that you will brush extra well before bed to get rid of the sugar on your teeth. When you pile veggies on you plate point out how vitamin-rich foods are good for the health of your teeth. Making these connections between diet and oral health is a way to model good food choices to your kids.
Enforce the routine of brushing and flossing for your kids
Every family has those nights or mornings when everyone is exhausted and it is tempting to skip the routine of brushing and flossing in favor of heading straight to bed or out the door. This is especially tempting when kids are in a stage where they fuss about having to brush and floss. These difficult nights give you the opportunity to model the true importance of consistent oral care. If you enforce the routine of brushing and flossing for your kids – even on the tough nights or mornings – it can help them develop the habit of proper oral care in all situations.
Let your kids see you brush and floss
In order to model good oral hygiene to your kids you need to let them see you brush and floss from time to time. It is not practical to make this happen every evening when you go to bed later than the kids. But you can likely make it happen from time to time. There is a time during childhood when kids want to do everything like the adults in their lives – take advantage of that when it comes to proper oral care! Let your kids see your process, share your toothpaste, or get matching toothbrushes. Little things like this can model good oral hygiene to your kids.
Make the dentist a family affair
Going to the dentist regularly is an important part of proper oral care. You can share this fact with your kids by making the dentist a family affair. Find a dentist who can provide care to your whole family. You can schedule appointments in such a way that your kids see you making them a priority in your own life.
It takes time for a habit to really become established for a child. Modeling good oral hygiene is something you will need to do for several years for the habits to stick for your children. It is not a complicated process but it does require consistency.
There are some lessons that you will have to teach your children over and over before they sink in. And sometimes you have to let kids learn a lesson the hard way before they truly understand the benefits of listening to your advice. One area where you should not let your kids learn the hard way is with oral health. The reality is that permanent teeth show up pretty early in a child’s life – the first baby teeth start to fall out around kindergarten for most kids. If you do not start teaching your kids early and consistently about good oral health it could have life-long consequences. For example, decay in a permanent tooth during childhood can weaken the tooth and lead to a lifetime of trouble with it. Make it a priority in your life to keep your child’s oral health on track. Eventually (hopefully) your child will internalize the lessons you teach and create a habit of practicing good oral hygiene.
It is never too early to start taking care of your child’s oral health. Babies do not start out with teeth but you can still begin teaching proper oral care. Make brushing teeth (gums) a part of the nightly routine. As your child grows, brushing will simply be part of what you do each night to get ready for bed.
Set a good example
Little kids love to imitate adults. You can use this to your advantage when it comes to keeping your child’s oral health on track. Set an example for oral care that you want your child to imitate. In order to do this, you need to make sure your kids see you caring for your oral health. Let them observe you brushing, flossing, and going to routine dental visits.
Be consistent in your efforts
Some kids resist your efforts to take care of their oral health. You may have a child who fights you on brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist. It is tempting to give in from time to time just to get a break from the battle. When it comes to oral hygiene, however, you simply cannot give up. It is worth the effort it takes to protect the oral health of your child. There are a few tactics you can try to make oral care more fun.
Take your child to the store to pick out a toothbrush featuring a favorite character.
Play a song your child loves while brushing to help with timing.
Add brushing to the chore chart and tie it to your child’s allowance.
These are just three ideas that you can try to help your child develop the habit of good oral care – and hopefully end the battle.
Starting early, setting a good example, and being consistent in your efforts will all help you keep your child’s oral health on track. Another important step in this process is to develop a good relationship with the dentist. At Dental Remedies, we regularly work with young patients and would love to help your child start to develop life-long habits that lead to good oral health.
As a parent, you can have a big impact on the oral health habits that your kids establish. Establishing those habits now can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. Helping your kids establish good oral health habits involves modeling good oral care, teaching them the basics, and making sure they get to their routine dental appointments. These three steps will go a long way toward helping your kids learn how to care for their oral health and why it is so important.
Model good oral health habits
Your kids are watching what you do in all areas of your life. Have you ever heard something come out of your child’s mouth that sounds just like you? Have you noticed that your child has mannerisms or habits that mimic your own? The reality is that kids take on characteristics of their parents on both a conscious and subconscious level. If you want your kids to establish good oral health habits then model the behaviors you want to pass on. Brush and floss while your child talks to you in the evening. Allow your kids to brush their teeth in your bathroom alongside you from time to time. You can also make sure to tell your kids when you are heading to a routine dental appointment. If your kids see that you value oral health it can help them learn to value it as well.
Teach your kids the basics
There are a lot of things we take for granted as adults because we have been able to do them for as long as we can remember. Washing your hands, tying your shoes, and brushing your teeth are examples of three tasks that many people learn in early childhood. But it is important to remember that you were taught how to do those tasks at some point. Your kids will not automatically know how to brush their teeth or why it is important. They need to learn all of the basics of good oral care. Teach your kids how to do the basics like brushing and flossing and explain why they are so important.
Schedule and take your kids to routine dental appointments
One of the most neglected tasks of proper oral care is going to routine dental appointments. In order to provide top-notch oral health, you must take your kids to their routine dental appointments. During these visits they will have tartar removed and get examined for any signs of a problem. Being consistent with routine dental appointments while your children are young can help them become accustomed to the process. If routine dental care is simply a part of life, your kids will be more likely to continue the practice in adulthood.
Do not underestimate the impact you can have on the long-term oral care that your children practice. Start young by modeling good oral health habits, teaching your kids the basics about oral care, and getting them to their routine dental appointments.
Teaching your children the importance of excellent oral hygiene from an early age is one of the greatest gifts you can give! Good oral hygiene habits can last a lifetime if they are instilled early on. Proper and consistent oral hygiene will help your children have a healthy beautiful smile throughout their lifetime. Quality oral care will also help protect against decay, gum disease and a number of associated health risks. If you are convinced of the benefits of early dental care, it is time to choose a pediatric dentist for your child in St. Augustine, FL.
Why go with a dentist who offers pediatric services?
As mentioned above, the oral care habits that your child develops now can follow him or her throughout life. The same goes for your child’s opinion and feelings about the dentist. A good experience at the dentist throughout childhood can make your child much more likely to continue on with routine dental care into adulthood. A dentist who regularly works with children will understand the unique needs that the younger patients bring into the office. It is not necessary to find a dentist is St. Augustine, FL who deals exclusively with children but it is important to choose one who is committed to working with children on a regular basis.
What elements to consider as you look for a pediatric dentist in St. Augustine, FL
The first element to consider as you try to choose a dentist for your children is office location. The dentist you choose for your children should be close enough that it is easy to get to routine appointments and emergency visits if necessary. If you live in St. Augustine or the immediate area, start your search close to home. Other important elements to consider are the experience level of the dentist, the environment of the office, and the needs of your child. An online search and phone call can provide you with information about the experience of each dentist you are considering. In order to get a true understanding of the dental office you will likely need to make an in-person visit. The needs of your child are something you will consider at every step in the search and decision-making process.
As a parent, you want the best for your child in every area of life. Proper oral hygiene – which includes going to preventative dental appointments – is something that will benefit your child at every stage of life. You can help instill the habit of going to the dentist and the value of maintaining oral health starting now. The dentist that you choose for your children will significantly impact their present experience and future actions when it comes to caring for their teeth.