One significant challenge we face as parents are getting our children invested in healthy habits. Whether it’s watching what they eat, staying active, or caring for their teeth, the best results occur when we start early. To achieve this, we have to set aside the time to educate them on proper brushing and flossing habits and ensure they stick to them. When you add a regularly scheduled set of bi-annual dental visits, you’re laying good foundations. We understand how truly challenging this can be and have provided information to help struggling parents succeed.
Developing A Tradition Of Oral Health With Your Kids
There’s no way to emphasize how truly important an early start is. The earlier a habit enters your child’s life, the longer it will stick with them. This goes for both good and bad oral health habits, so not developing good oral health means developing bad ones. Some of the most commonly asked about concerns we receive from parents trying to teach good oral hygiene practices to their children include:
- At what age should I start introducing oral hygiene education?
- What areas of oral hygiene should I focus on first?
- How can I aid my child in avoiding cavities and gum disease?
- What can I do to help this information and habits stick?
The first and most important aspect is to get started early, as we’ve said. This begins with brushing their gums and teeth before doing it themselves. You want to get them involved with the process as soon as possible. Show them the proper steps to take in brushing their teeth, and introduce information along the way. You can tell them what the toothpaste does, how flossing helps, and the consequences of not doing these things.
Make sure you’re maintaining a regularly scheduled set of dental visits with your kids throughout this period. The sooner they start seeing the dentist, the more likely they’ll develop a normalized and healthy relationship with these visits. It can also help to lean on many children’s desire to be perceived as ‘big kids .’These practices will serve your end goal of establishing effective oral hygiene by taking these steps.
When it comes to what information to provide to your child, the answer is “as much as they ask for.” When a child looks for information, provide it as clearly as possible, but without extra information, they may not be interested in it yet. Children are inquisitive by nature, so they’re sure to ask more questions until they understand what they want to. In most cases, you’ll find that they start with the basics and then seek out additional answers as they go along.
An Important Primer For Oral Health
The first and potentially most important information to share with your child is about tooth decay. Let them know that your body can’t restore enamel, and when an adult tooth is lost, it’s lost for good. Share with them that they’ll lose their primary teeth, but even these teeth have an important role to play. Keeping them healthy ensures that their adult teeth will come in healthy and straight. You can also engage your dentist in this conversation if the questions go beyond your understanding.