5 Dental Hygiene Habits to Show Your Young Children
Children watch what their parents do, so when it comes to teaching kids about good dental hygiene habits, it begins in the home. You, as a parent, can start by adding a few steps to your oral care routine and including the kids so they can also participate. Taking care of one's teeth and gums shouldn't be seen as a burdensome daily chore but as an important part of health at every age.1. Make Brushing Time Fun
Being consistent with a routine is the right way to proceed so that it becomes a good habit quickly, and brushing teeth is one of the key steps for children to adopt twice a day.
To make brushing time fun, you can set a timer or play a song that lasts for about two minutes. Your kids will enjoy brushing along, and when the song is over, they are done.
You can let your children choose a favorite toothpaste flavor or favorite colored toothbrush. In this way, they take ownership of their oral care.
2. Teach Through Books/Videos
Another way to instill excellent oral hygiene habits in young kids is to show them visually via online videos or through large picture books. You can find a wonderful variety of teaching materials designed for children when it comes to taking care of one's teeth and gums.
For example, you can look for these teachable books at your local public library, or buy them on Amazon. One dentist, Dr. Ben Magleby, has written and illustrated books about oral care that are for ages two through four.
One of these colorful, fun books is titled "Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth" and is highly rated by parents.
You don't want young children to ever fear going to the dentist, so it's important to ensure that you choose the best dentist in Cary NC. This specialist will offer the finest in pediatric services so that your little one can feel comfortable and safe when visiting the dentist and receiving the proper care.
The ideal dental team will be experienced in introducing young kids to their first appointments and patiently and gently showing them that good dental care isn't frightening but a fun visit and an important part of maintaining good health.
Most dentists recommend that your child's first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears but no later than the first birthday. This will help establish a foundation for their dental care.
4. Reward Kids For Consistency
Who doesn't enjoy getting a little prize for a job well done, right?
As parents, you can reward your children for sticking to their good oral care habits. Of course, there are all kinds of rewards. You could place a gold sticker each day on a chart, or use some other type of incentive. Maybe a little toy or trip to the park is a reward your little one will enjoy as they adhere to their daily toothbrushing times.
Rewarding for consistency is a good idea because it encourages kids to get into a routine early on, and in this case, it becomes the key to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
5. Encourage Healthy Eating
This one may seem easier said than done, but parents can teach their kids about healthy eating habits and limit the sugary snacks that so many children (and adults, too) enjoy consuming. It's sugar that causes tooth decay, and there are healthier alternatives that still give good crunch and taste.
Kids really want to have snacks during the morning and/or afternoon, but instead of candy and popcorn, for example, introduce fresh fruits, low-sugar cereals, peanut butter, yogurt, veggies dipped in hummus, cheese slices, etc.
Sodas and juices can rack up the sugar intake, so give your kids water to help rinse away any food particles after eating their snacks.
It's unfair to take fun snacks away from kids permanently. Everything in moderation rings true. It's all about balance.
When you start introducing good oral care habits to children when they are young, they will adopt a healthy routine and maintain their beautiful smiles for a lifetime.