Children live in a special world, where their top priorities are having fun, being silly, and avoiding activities that stand in the way of their good time. For this reason, children also tend to avoid daily rituals that don’t stimulate them in a fun way. For most children, brushing teeth is ranked about as highly as cleaning a bedroom. So, how do you encourage enthusiasm in your children for something as necessary (and “boring”) as dental maintenance? Here are some great tips for how to teach children good oral hygiene:
Lead by example. Your children look to you when gauging appropriate behavior, and that’s no less true when it comes to oral hygiene. If you make it a point to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist when needed (and without too much complaining), then you can rest assured that you are doing the single most important things you can do when it comes to teaching your children to have an appreciation for good oral hygiene.
Invest in some cool tools and toiletries . Take a trip to any local retail department store to find a wide array of neat products designed specifically for keeping your children’s chompers in top shape. Look for specially-flavored toothpastes and mouthwashes formulated especially for kids, as well as toothbrushes that vibrate, time tooth-brushing sessions, play music, and more.
Reward good behavior. Keep an oral hygiene chart in plain view (near the behavior or allowance chart or in the bathroom in a good idea), and give your children a star or checkmark for each day that they successfully brush their teeth as needed, and without your prompting. At the end of the week, offer a reward in the form of an ooey-gooey treat (candy and ice cream are always a big hit) and tell your children that their good oral hygiene habits enable them to indulge every so often.
Oral hygiene is an important part of overall health and well-being, and good oral hygiene habits begin in childhood. It is important that you care for your children’s oral health now, so that they can develop their own healthy dental habits as adults.
Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4038.