Parenting is hard work, and teaching the importance of maintaining healthy teeth to your children can be even harder. But by teaching them how to brush their teeth in a playful and enthusiastic manner, good oral hygiene becomes more than just a chore for them to do every day.
In the long run, excellent oral hygiene can keep their teeth free from cavities and, ultimately, prevent tooth loss. Today, your La Feria family dentists at WhiteWing Dental are taking a look at a few tips you can use to encourage your children to develop healthy oral hygiene habits.
1. Brush With Your Children
For the first 6 years of their lives, parents should monitor and teach their children how to properly brush their teeth and floss. Overseeing what habits they develop over time is essential to developing positive oral hygiene habits.
Just as a child that is learning how to walk, as a parent, the process of teaching your child how to brush their teeth should be taken in baby steps. The most effective way to teach your children good brushing techniques is being side-by-side with them and having them mimic what you are doing.
Young children may not be able to use the same type of brush and dental instruments as an adult, so to make it a fun and effective activity, let your child pick out an appropriately-sized toothbrush and a character-themed, fluoride-free toothpaste for them to feel comfortable and excited to learn! Incorporate interactive music or games such as Simon says or peek-a-boo, and you will have set a more playful tone to keep them interested.
2. Set Motivational Goals for Your Children and Yourself
Cognitive-based learning may take a while for your child to understand, but a small reward might help your child get the right idea and get motivated to learn how to take care of their oral health accordingly.
By setting goals for your children, not only will they be able to realize said goal, they can learn to brush and floss effectively, all the while awaiting that small reward.
Help them visualize their progress with a calendar and some star stickers. Every time they brush twice for two minutes each and floss once per day, give them a gold sticker on that day, and if they complete 7 consecutive days, the small reward is theirs!
3. Make Smarter Snack Choices
Yes, children love sugar and can feel over the moon when they snack on their favorite chocolate bar or get a scoop of ice cream. However, overconsumption of these products can be a big threat to your child’s oral health, especially since they are still relatively developing.
While this one may be very hard to pull off, teaching your children about the dangers of cavities and tooth decay early on can help them lead to making smarter choices when looking for a snack.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid sugary snacks and drinks altogether, but it is important to limit their overall sugar intake and replace those snacks with healthier choices such as fruits or cheese sticks in order to ensure your child is receiving both nutritional and dental benefits.
WhiteWing Dental: Helping Children and Adults Make the Best Out of Their Oral Health
The La Feria family dentists of WhiteWing Dental are dedicated to serving all ages, guiding children through the necessary dental procedures needed to ensure they develop healthiest and whitest smile possible.
It is recommended that children visit their dentist at least twice a year–about every six months–to have a proper dental evaluation, check-up, and clean up to ensure their oral health is as healthy as it should be!
Help your children maintain a healthy, beautiful smile by scheduling a visit with WhiteWing Dental today.