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.