Having kids can be full of difficult battles, especially when it comes to teaching them about things that are good for their health. For some, the veggies on the plate will be a dinnertime struggle every night. For others, the toothbrush is the source of the contention. If this sounds like your daily experience, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for helping your kids develop good oral hygiene routines.
Make The Dentist “No Big Deal”
Teach kids young that going to the dentist regularly is an important but routine part of life, rather than a big, angsty event. Start this process young, sometime between when the first tooth comes in and their first birthday. There are tons of great children’s books about going to the dentist that you can read to them to help them understand what is going to happen during the visit. Finally, don’t offer them a reward for getting through the visit, since that sets up the expectation that these visits are something negative to be endured.
Establish Brushing and Flossing Habits
Getting the actual brushing and flossing part done can be a challenge, so it helps to make it a game. For young kids, let them “brush” your teeth while you brush theirs. For older tots, let them control part of the activity (like choosing from several toothbrushes or kinds of toothpaste or choosing which parent does the brushing) before you brush their teeth. Alternatively, on one of your trips to the dentist, have him or her show you how to brush your child’s teeth, then have you kid give you a sticker when you do it right. The AAPD recommends that you brush your child’s teeth for them till they are eight and that you floss for them till they are 10. Establishing the routine early will help make it an everyday thing instead of a huge ordeal.
Teach Them About The Power of Food
What we eat plays a huge part in the health of our teeth, especially when it comes to snacking. Encourage kids to snack on veggies, cheese, and nuts rather than cookies or candy. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that if you reserve sugary and starchy foods for meals (and don’t eat them as snacks) they are less likely to cause cavities. Make the healthy snacks easy to access by pre-prepping them so there’s no wait time. If that doesn’t get the kids interested in them, try having them help shop for the items so they feel more empowered in the decision.
You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs
For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.