Top Parenting Hacks to Raising Kids with Good Oral Habits
Raising kids to have good oral habits can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you can’t seem to get your children to follow a healthy brushing routine. But you can make your life easier by creating and sticking to a dental schedule for your kids and learning the most effective ways to teach good dental habits. Try these parenting hacks to teach your children how to care for their teeth and why it’s so important.
Create a Dental Schedule for Your Children
The key to getting your kids to practice long-term dental health and minimizing the likelihood of problems occurring is to know when you should take your kids to dental appointments and to do your best to stick to that schedule. Here are some milestones of your children’s teeth and when they need to see a dentist:
- Pre-teeth Dental Care: In the first six months of your child’s life, a child’s teeth are still developing in their gums. The key to dental care at this early stage of life is to give them a healthy diet.
- Their First Teeth: As soon as your child’s teeth come in, take them to see a pediatric dentist to get an initial screening and to develop a schedule to monitor their tooth development. Plan for routine visits to the dentist once every six months. Children’s primary teeth start to grow at about six months old. And permanent teeth start to come in at about 6 years old.
- Their Permanent Teeth: Your child’s baby teeth fall out and the permanent teeth start to come in and replace them when children are 6 to 11 years old. In additions to routine dental exams, your children should be brushing their own teeth at this point.
Keep Extra Supplies Around the House
Whenever you go out to buy dental care such as floss, toothbrushes, and other supplies, try to get more than you need. Having extra supplies around the house will ensure that you never run out and will keep your child in that oral cleaning routine. Plus, if you have several brushes on hand when it’s time to throw out a used one, you can make it fun for your children by letting them pick out the new brush they want to use.
Teach Good Dental Habits
As soon as they are able to hold a toothbrush, it’s time to start teaching and monitoring their independent dental care and to check that they not only know how to properly brush but also understand why it’s so important. Here are some tips to help educate your children about oral care and make sure that they understand the value of healthy teeth for the rest of their lives.
- Get started with educational TV shows and books: There are plenty of educational content to help your children understand the importance of oral health and how to brush correctly. Watch TV shows and read books together to help introduce your children at an early age to the value of good oral health.
- Create a dental chart: To help your children learn all the steps involved in caring for their teeth, create a dental chart together. Cut out pictures and instructions from magazines or books, or let your child write the steps down themselves with markers or crayons. Hang this chart up near where they brush their teeth and remind them to read and follow it when they are brushing their teeth.
- Lead by example: Don’t just tell your kids to brush their teeth, brush your teeth with them so they can see that you also take care of your teeth.
- Show and tell: In addition to showing your children how to brush their teeth, also teach them why its important. You may need to wait until they’re old enough to understand, but when they are of age, explain the health risks associated with neglected teeth and gums. This will motivate them to continue to brush and floss as they get older.
- Involve them in the process: To get help your children get more interested in tooth hygiene, take them with you to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrushes and toothpastes.
- Teach about health risks: Your Children need to know how to care for their teeth and why its essential. Explain the risks of things such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. If they’re too young to understand these hazards, you express to them how brushing helps with stinky breath and keeping their mouths healthy.
- Teach proper techniques: It’s vital that your children are learning to brush correctly. Walk them through the process and teach them about how brushing too vigorously can wear down the enamel and harm their teeth.
Teaching your kids good oral health habits is essential to their well-being from the very early stages of life, but you’re also setting them up to continue taking care of their teeth as they grow older. Follow the tips above and remember to teach your children not only how to brush their teeth, but also why it is so important.
Call Downingtown Dentistry today to schedule your child’s or your own appointment! 610-269-1414