Making sure you teach your child about good oral care from a young age will help them avoid common problems like tooth decay. Establishing a good oral care routine will help prevent future dental problems, making them more likely to grow up with a healthy and attractive smile.
Here are six easy ways to teach your child about good oral hygiene.
- Let Them Follow Your Example
Children are great mimics and will often want to copy everything you do, so make sure they can see you clean your teeth and floss every day. While you brush and floss, make this task seem as enjoyable as possible, letting them know how good it feels to have clean teeth afterwards.
- Book Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are essential for the entire family, including you. Lead by example by ensuring you book regular dental checkups with our practice, so your kid knows it’s just part of normal life. We also encourage young children to come to our practice with their parents so they can get used to a brand-new environment in a way that is fun and nonthreatening.
- Choose a Toothbrush Song
Pick a fun song with your child that lasts approximately two minutes so you can both dance along with it while you clean your teeth. Having a toothbrushing song makes the process more enjoyable.
- Turn Toothbrushing into a Game
An easy way to get a child interested in toothbrushing is to turn it into a game. You could help them clean their favourite stuffed animals or doll’s teeth while you brush their teeth. Children often find brushing an adult’s teeth fun, and you can guide their hands while they do it to ensure each tooth is cleaned properly. When a child has fun cleaning teeth, it turns into a positive experience and is easier to turn into a lifelong habit.
- Offer Rewards
If your child has difficulty cleaning their teeth regularly, offer them an incentive. You might want to start a sticker scheme where they can collect a certain number of stickers before receiving a treat. Decide on the treat between you, whether that’s a favourite bedtime story or a family outing, or something else they can look forward to enjoying. It’s best to avoid offering food as a reward, especially sugary treats.
- Choose a Family-Friendly Dentist
Last but not least, choose a family-friendly dentist you can trust to care for everyone’s teeth. Our practice caters for all ages, but we especially enjoy seeing children. We encourage parents to bring their child for their first dental visit soon after that first precious tooth emerges. Children tend to be curious about a new environment at this age, and most will enjoy a ride in the dental chair. When we see a child early on in life, we can begin building a great relationship with them as they grow up. When they are old enough, we can work with them directly, showing them how to care for their teeth and gently educating them on all the advantages of having healthy teeth and gums.