Making sure your children understand the importance of good oral health habits will pave the way for strong teeth and gums into adulthood.
Here are five top hacks to raising children with a high standard of dental health behaviour.
- Use Educational Content
There are plenty of child-friendly videos and books that help kids to learn about the value of a sound routine of oral hygiene. Watch these videos with them and read books together to introduce your child at an early age to the importance of good oral health habits.
- Set a Good Example
Besides mimicking other kids, children enjoy copying their parents, so lead by example while making brushing and flossing a family occasion.
Brush and floss together in front of a mirror, giving your child the opportunity to duplicate what you’re doing. This will help them to learn the correct brushing and flossing techniques – as long as you’re doing it right!
- Make a Game of It and Give Them Rewards
Throw a mini family party as you and your youngster brush your teeth together. Play one of their favourite songs – at least two minutes long, the optimum brushing time. Create a chart, giving your child a star each time they clean their teeth without being asked, with five stars earning them a reward. Make the prizes more significant as the stars build up.
The treat that works best will depend on your youngster’s interests and age. For example, a child aged under eight might be more likely to clean their teeth if they know they’ll get a special bedtime story before lights out. For an older child, a good incentive might be letting them watch an episode of their favorite TV show after brushing and before bed.
- Use Fun Dental Products
Offer your youngster a choice of oral healthcare products. Take them shopping to select a toothbrush and toothpaste they like the look of.
Many toothbrushes for kids feature popular cartoon characters, which will encourage them to brush their teeth more often. Toothpaste packaging featuring Disney characters is also likely to be a big hit with young children.
- Get Help from an Expert
Bear in mind that children’s temporary teeth are vulnerable to the same problems that affect permanent adult teeth, and tooth decay is common among youngsters who still have baby teeth. An experienced family-friendly dental practice can give you invaluable advice on how to raise your kids with good oral health habits.
While baby teeth only last for a short time, they play a major role in reserving space for their adult counterparts, maintaining a natural facial appearance, and developing clear speech. Once you’ve got your child into a good oral hygiene routine at home, make sure you schedule six-monthly dental appointments for them for a check-up and professional cleaning.