How to Encourage Better Dental Care Habits in Your Children
Did you know that about 20 percent of children aged 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth? This problem alone could be prevented with proper dental care and good dental hygiene habits.
A lot of parents might not know what that means for their young children, though, and it can be difficult to keep children interested in caring for their oral health.
Luckily, we’re here with a few tips to help you get started.
When Should Kids Start Learning About Dental Care?
Kids should start learning about dental care as soon as they’re able. If they show an interest in brushing their teeth, flossing, or anything else, you should allow them to do it themselves. Kids should be supervised up until around the age of six, but it won’t hurt anything for them to brush their teeth with you if they want.
Lead by Example
Kids do really well when they get to follow along with whatever it is you’re doing. If you can, brush your teeth and floss alongside them at least once per day. They’ll be able to see what you do and you’ll be able to ensure they stay safe depending on their age.
At a minimum, they’ll feel more inclined to do well by brushing their teeth if you do a thorough job on yours.
Create a Reward System
Children thrive off reward systems, so why not allow them to earn something while they’re learning about oral health? It’s an especially great idea to reward them for doing well at the dentist — or any time they deal well with pediatric dentistry — but there is no such thing as too much positive reinforcement for this particular area of care.
An easy thing to do is create a chart with some goals to meet (like brushing and flossing each day). Each time they complete a task, they get to place a gold star on the chart. Once they reach a certain number of stars, say 10 or 15, they get a reward.
That reward can be a trip out for ice cream or a simple prize from a treasure box. Whatever works best for them.
Finding books about toothbrushing is simple, as there are so many out there, and when you read to your children about toothbrushing, you’re giving them two advantages.
Not only are they learning about dental health, but they’re also learning to develop a love for reading and learning. Reading is also a great way to wind down at the end of a busy day for the both of you.
Oral Health Is Always a Priority
No matter your child’s age, dental care should always be considered a priority. Whether they’re toddling around with their toothbrush or you’re caring for their gums as an infant, having a routine to stick to is going to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth on their part.
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