As an adult, you know the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and clean teeth. You brush every morning and every night, if not more. You try to floss daily, and if you don’t, you at least are aware of how important flossing is. In addition to that, you visit the dentist on a regular basis for a thorough teeth cleaning and to make sure everything is looking as it should be.
These habits were probably instilled in you by your parents when you were a young child. Learning how to properly care for your oral health is something that should be taught starting at a young age. Perhaps now you are a parent yourself, and maybe you have young children who you are trying to teach and instill wisdom into. One of the many important lessons that a parent can teach their child is proper oral healthcare. Yes, we know there are probably many other important life lessons that you have taught, are teaching, or will teach to your children, but we believe that instilling the importance of oral health into your children starting a young age will set them up for a healthy lifestyle moving forward.
That said, we understand that getting your child to grasp onto a habit can be difficult at times, especially if they are young. So in today’s blog post we’re going to be sharing some tips and advice for making teeth brushing, flossing, and overall oral hygiene a habit that your child holds onto for the rest of their life. Continue reading to learn more. If you have any questions or are looking for a family dentist in Arlington or surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact Gentle Touch Dentists today.
Help Your Child Make Oral Health A Priority
Have Family Teeth Brushing Dates
When your child sees you doing something, they may feel more inclined to try it themselves. When you are first beginning to teach your child how to brush their teeth, make sure you let them see you brushing your teeth as well. When they see you consistently caring for your teeth, morning and evening, they’ll slowly learn that it should be a daily habit, too. Show them that you take your teeth and mouth health seriously by bringing them into the bathroom in the morning or at night to show them how to brush. And when you are starting to brush your toddler’s teeth, make it interactive and do it together! After you help them brush their teeth, ask if they can help you brush yours. The more involved that they are will further instill the habit into their brains.
You can even take it one step further and have family brushing dates at night. This is a great idea for parents who have toddlers or young kids. Making teeth brushing a family event will create excitement around it. Soon enough, they will look forward to the entire family gathering in the bathroom for teeth brushing time. Making this activity fun will be effective when teaching the importance of oral health.
Don’t Forget The Floss
In addition to brushing their teeth, your child should learn the importance of flossing. Depending on how fast their teeth grow in and how close together their teeth are, a good age to implement flossing into your child’s routine is between two and six. By the age of 10, they should be able to floss by themselves. Flossing can be a little harder to do than brushing, so be sure you properly teach your child how to do it. You can even show them by flossing yourself. When they see mom or dad doing it, they might feel more intrigued to try themselves.
Reward Them For A Teeth Brushing Well Done
When it comes to teaching young children, an effective way to find success is to incentivize and reward them. If you have children around the age of five and up, creating a reward system will be an effective way to instill the habit of oral hygiene. It is also around this age that you are teaching overall hygiene and personal care. You can create a daily checklist for your child for them to keep up with as they learn how to take a shower, comb their hair, and brush their teeth. After they complete one item, have them check it off. When all items on the checklist have been completed that day, you can reward them with a fun activity or even a treat. Soon enough, they will going into the bathroom to brush their teeth without even thinking about the checklist.
Teach About How Food Affects Their Oral Health
One thing for sure is children love sweet treats and candy. There’s no doubt about it. But consuming too much sugar can be detrimental their teeth if they don’t keep up with brushing and flossing. That’s why it’s important to teach your kiddo how sweets and candy affect their teeth. Tell them that too much sugar can build up on the surface of their teeth and that a dirty mouth is unhealthy. You can even get into the habit of encouraging them to brush their teeth after eating a piece of candy or anything that is dense with sugar. This way, they’ll be aware of how their sugar consumption affects their oral health. If you need any extra help with teaching your kids about oral health, ask your family dentist to share some information with your child during their teeth cleaning appointment.
Schedule Regular Dentist Visits
The dentist can be fun for kids. While they may feel intimidated at first, they may find that learning about their teeth is exciting. Part of teaching your child about their oral health is bringing them into the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning. Being in that environment further teaches them why they should continue brushing and flossing their teeth. Plus, having the dentist share information with them during the teeth cleaning can be an educational experience for both you and your child.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Arlington, Gentle Care Dentists is the place to come. Not only do we offer family dentistry, but our services include cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, periodontic surgery, and orthodontic treatments. Whether you or a family member needs dentures, bonding and white fillings, bone and tissue grafts, braces and retainers, or just a simple deep teeth cleaning, your needs will be met at Gentle Care Dentists. We take pride of ensuring our patients are not only well taken care of during their appointment, but that they are comfortable during their time in our facility.
Learn more about our services online and schedule a dentist appointment for your child and yourself.