Taking care of your teeth is important at every age. While it’s never too late to start, establishing good oral health habits early in life can help prevent issues both immediately and later in life. That’s why encouraging your child to embrace positive dental routines is so important—it gives them a strong foundation that they can carry with them for life.
In order for these healthy habits to form—and actually stick around—you have to find ways to implement them into your child’s daily routine. After all, habits are formed through repetition. Fortunately, this process does not need to be challenging.
For a few helpful tips and tricks to aid your child in developing good oral health behaviors, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for some easy solutions to establishing positive dental care and hygiene habits.
Normalize the Process
Your child undoubtedly looks up to you. You may catch them imitating you from time to time or notice that some of your notable traits are echoed in them. Needless to say, they watch you and learn from your actions.
In other words, you can help them develop good oral health habits by simply being a good role model. By going the extra mile, you can accentuate healthy habits such as setting a timer to ensure you brush your teeth a full two minutes twice a day. Don’t forget to floss in front of your child, as well!
Giving your kid a good example of what healthy habits look like can also spark meaningful conversations.
Make it Fun
Teaching your kids the importance of good oral health habits is important, but keeping things too stodgy can bore them and lead to a lack of interest. By supplementing the necessary lessons and information regarding oral hygiene with fun and games, you keep your child engaged and make them more likely to pay attention and participate.
You can make brushing their teeth more fun and memorable by using a kid-friendly song to detail the steps to proper brushing, buying them oral care products that are specifically designed for children, and coming up with fun games that encourage positive habits.
Some children respond well to incentives and rewards. By setting up a system of rewards for brushing and flossing their teeth, you can encourage them to develop good habits. The significance of the rewards can vary, and you can even develop milestones that net them greater prizes.
Keep in mind that the rewards should be healthy themselves. Candy may make for a happy kid, but it offsets the point of offering incentives!
A Well-Rounded Approach
Brushing and flossing are fantastic habits to help your child form, but positive oral habits don’t end there. You should also promote healthy eating habits to create a well-rounded approach to oral health.
While this does not mean that you should cut all sweets out of their diet in one swoop, it does mean that you should consider their current diet and how improvements can be made over time. This gives you another chance to lead by example. Simply opt for healthier foods at the grocery store and in your own life, then let those changes carry over to your child’s eating habits.
Make Going to the Dentist Fun
The dentist sometimes gets an unfair reputation as being scary or otherwise intimidating. If you start at a young age, you can help your child avoid and/or overcome these negative associations and actually enjoy dental visits.
The success of this will hinge on your attitude and the dentist’s office you select. By opting for a dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry and has an office that reflects that, you can ensure your child feels comfortable and safe from the moment they walk through the door.