Dental hygiene is an important part of general health that you should teach your children. Since teeth play a critical role in communication and nutrition, it is essential that kids learn how to take care of their teeth as soon as they are old enough to do so. Here are some basic steps that parents can take to train their children for effective oral hygiene.
Set the Example in Taking Care of Your Teeth
Parents can lead by example when they practice good oral care on a daily basis. Children that see their parents brush, rinse, and floss their teeth soon learn that this is an expected part of regular hygiene. Parents should also be available to provide guidance and answer questions as needed. Be patient as you teach your kids. There was once a time where you didn’t know any of this stuff either.
Provide Age-Appropriate Dental Supplies
Children need kid-sized toothbrushes and floss pics as well as age-suitable fluoride treatments if recommended by the dentist. Children’s toothbrushes are easier for them to hold than larger or rounder brushes. Design helps, too. Toothbrushes with images of cartoon characters or film scenes beloved by children are more apt to get kids to brush.
Include Dental Care in the Daily Routine
Make daily brushing and oral hygiene part of the morning and evening schedule. Just as children learn to wash their faces and put on matching clothes, they can learn to brush their teeth for the allotted time to ensure cleanliness. It may help to remind kids that daily care of their teeth will help to reduce the risk of cavities that require dental fillings.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Just like adults, kids should get twice-yearly dental exams to be checked for a variety of issues. Cavities, distorted tooth alignment, ingrown teeth, and infections can be caught early and treated promptly with routine exams and x-rays in general dentistry. Children with special dental needs for issues related to orthodontia or cleft palate can be referred to specialists at the right age in their development for professional evaluation and treatment.
Make Taking Care of Your Teeth Fun
Dental care does not have to be boring or scary. With a positive parental attitude, kid-oriented products, and even some fun music played during brushing time, children can learn to enjoy dental hygiene and accept it as a necessary and valuable part of their daily health regimen. Parents might want to look up some dental jokes to tell during the first few days of getting used to brushing or even wear a medical smock from the thrift store to pretend to be a dentist and gamify the introduction to dental hygiene. At the same time, you don’t need to overthink it. If your kids understand why going to the dentist is important, they’ll go even if they find the process unpleasant.
With a few thoughtful efforts and gestures, children can quickly adapt to a daily habit of dental hygiene. Take the time to help your kids, explain to them how to brush and floss their teeth, and make dental care a regular part of their everyday life.
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