Parents want to do everything they can to make sure their child is healthy. But overall health involves more than regular physical activity and a nutritious diet. Excellent oral hygiene is also an important piece of the puzzle. Not only will superior dental care provide your child with a winning smile, but it will help prevent unwanted health conditions, too.
That said, maintaining good oral hygiene for kids isn’t an easy task. While your child may know that they should brush and floss their teeth twice daily and engage in other oral care habits, knowing and doing are two totally different things. Parents can do their part to encourage healthy habits in their kids, which will help lay the foundation for lifelong wellness. Here are just a few ideas that will get your child more interested in dental hygiene.
Your child will automatically become more invested in their oral health if they feel they can play an active role in decision-making. Something as small as letting them pick out their own toothbrush or flavor of toothpaste can go a long way. When your child feels like something is truly theirs, they’ll be more inclined to take care of it and to use it regularly.
It’s easy for daily brushing and flossing to feel like a chore (even for adults!). But if you make it fun, your child will actually start to look forward to engaging in these healthy habits each morning and evening. You can turn the brushing and flossing routine into a competition or play one of their favorite songs and dance along while you brush. Even spending a little bit of quality time together can make pediatric dental care more enjoyable.
Many parents still make use of the Tooth Fairy, who will collect lost baby teeth from underneath a child’s pillow and will leave some money or another reward in their place. Losing those primary teeth is a rite of passage for every child, but parents can prioritize oral hygiene at the same time by emphasizing the Tooth Fairy’s preference for healthy teeth. For instance, cavity-free teeth might be worth more or the Tooth Fairy might leave notes for your kids to encourage their oral health habits. These small gestures can provide a bit of extra motivation when it comes time to brush and floss.
Whether it’s time for your child’s first dental appointment or they’ve been seeing their dentist for years, seeing a pediatric dentist certainly isn’t as enjoyable as going to an amusement park. But you can make these appointments something to look forward to. After your child has received their fluoride varnish treatment (which can prevent 33% of decay in primary teeth), a thorough cleaning, and an exam by their dentist, you might consider letting them pick out a toy or a treat as a little reward. Alternatively, you could even make a day of it, spending time together at a favorite spot after the appointment. This will give your child something to look forward to — and reminding them of this can help encourage better oral health habits leading up to their dental visit.
With these tips in mind, you can set your child up for success with their oral hygiene. Of course, it all starts with a dental visit.
For more information about our pediatric dentistry services, please contact us today.