Being a parent is a joyous occasion, most of the time. Sure, there are the tears and the tantrums, the scrapes and the bruises and challenging behavior. But, at the end of the day, as you tuck them into bed, you wouldn’t trade it for the world.
And part of being a parent is ensuring that you teach your kids proper hygiene, such as washing their hands, wiping after the toilet, and bathing each day. A part of this parental hygiene education that you need to focus on is oral hygiene. This helpful article will share our top tips for teaching kids about the importance of dental and oral health. Read on to discover more.
Regular Dentist Trips
You should take your children to a dentist you trust, such as East Bentleigh Dental or another clinic close by every six months or so. The dentist will give your kids’ teeth a checkup and clean and can perform procedures such as fillings if required. This is an essential routine to keep, and it will teach your kids the importance of regular checkups and cleaning. Neglecting this can result in expensive dental work down the track. Why not book your own checkup and clean for before or after, so you can set a good example for your children?
Find a Friendly Dentist
Finding a friendly, approachable dentist who is good with children is a great way to teach your kids the importance of oral hygiene. If they like their dentist and don’t dread the trip, you set them up for a lifetime of proactive oral health.
Dental visits can be anxiety-provoking and stress-inducing for children, so a friendly dentist can make all the difference.
Brushing and Flossing
The next tip is to teach your kids to brush and floss regularly. At a minimum, they should brush and floss their teeth each morning and evening. You can encourage them to do so after lunch, but this may not always be practical with school days and other activities.
Brushing and flossing is an excellent way to prevent the buildup of plaque and other bacteria in their mouths, which can cause cavities that require dental work. Make brushing and flossing part of their morning and evening routines – encourage them to brush before school as they prepare for bed.
If your children are younger and are reluctant to brush, there are some apps that you can install on your phone to make it fun. Brush your teeth and floss while your kids do as well – again, this sets a positive example.
You can even get toothbrushes and toothpaste that are branded with popular children’s characters – such as Frozen, Paw Patrol, Star Wars, or other popular icons.
Another way to get a child who is reluctant to brush their teeth is to make it a game. You can pretend to brush a doll’s or soft toy’s teeth and role play good dental health.
If necessary, you can introduce a reward to help them to brush their teeth. For instance, they might get to stay up five minutes later for the night or get an extra book to read before bed.
Another great tip is to teach them which snacks are good for their teeth and which are bad. For instance, a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable is a healthy snack that is easily brushed away from their teeth. Whereas a sticky lolly or sugary drink can cause tooth decay and require dental attention.
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Now, a treat once in a while is fine, but make sure your kids understand that the type of snacks they eat directly impacts their oral hygiene.
Use Play and Stories
Children love to learn through play and stories. We’ve already suggested making toothbrushing a game your child can play with their toys. Further to this, you could incorporate oral hygiene into a nighttime story. For instance, you could make up a story about the brave prince or princess who didn’t want to brush their teeth or go to the dentist. However, you can weave into the story that they overcame their reluctance with the help of a magical amulet or a favorite animal companion. You can then match this with a piece of jewelry your child may have or a favorite stuffed toy so they have their own amulet or animal companion.
Here in this helpful article, we’ve shared our top tips to assist you in teaching your kids about the importance of oral hygiene.
If you follow these tips, your children should begin to learn and understand the importance of looking after their mouths and teeth. Remember to find a friendly dentist and take them for regular checkups and cleans. You can use play, toys, stories, and apps to make brushing fun for your kids. Don’t forget to teach them about healthy and unhealthy snacks as well. Follow these tips and you’re setting them up for a lifetime of positive oral hygiene.