Good habits are easiest taught at a young age. Oral health plays an intricate part in your child’s overall health, so of all habits to start young, good oral health habits should be at the top of the list. Poor oral health causes kids to miss over 51 million hours of class each year. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and Gum Disease Awareness Month, so it’s a perfect opportunity to start teaching your children about the importance of good oral health. Good oral health is also critical in building positive self-image and confidence within children. We understand that trying to teach your child any habit can be difficult, but if you make oral health fun it can make creating those habits a lot easier. Here are some helpful tips to help start oral health habits with your children.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
It’s important to let your children help choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. When you’re at the store or ordering online let them pick the toothbrush that is their favorite color or the one that has their favorite Disney character. Also let them pick a toothpaste that is their favorite flavor. If they pick their toothbrush and toothpaste, they are more likely to want to brush their teeth every morning and night
Make oral health habits a family affair, brush and floss your teeth together. Kids are known to copy what their parents do, so if you have a positive attitude about oral health and brush and floss your teeth with proper technique, your children are likely to mimic you.
There are a lot of good books out there that teach about oral health and the dentist. Stories designed for children are great for teaching them how to take care of their teeth and for making oral health something that they can relate to. Here are few good ones that are fun to read with your children before bedtime.
- The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
- My First Visit to the Dentist by Eve Marleau
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Brush, Brush, Brush! by Alicia Padron
- Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth by Dr. Ben Magleby
When it’s time for your children to brush their teeth, you can start a sand timer or regular timer or even better, play their favorite song that runs for two minutes. Playing their favorite song or one they really like helps keep them focused on the song, not the two minutes that they need to be brushing their teeth.
There are a lot of good YouTube videos out there that you can watch with your children that teach about oral health. Here is a fun video by the Native American ToothFairy.
Post Dental Visit
After your children visit the dentist, it’s okay to reward them for their hard work and for their good oral health. It’s important to note that it’s not good to reward them with sugary food that can damage their teeth. Instead offer your children something healthy or a toy. Or even better, take them to do a fun activity. Maybe visit their favorite park or watch their favorite movie when you get home.
Don’t Give Up
It’s important to keep practicing oral health habits with your children even though it can be a challenge. If you can get your children excited about daily dental hygiene, they will be able to create a habit that will stay with them as they get older. We know the topic of oral health isn’t that intriguing to children, but you can make it fun so that they don’t dread brushing and flossing their teeth or visiting the dentist.
Roseman Dental is here to help keep the tiny teeth in your family in tip-top shape. Contact us today to schedule your child’s semi-annual exam.