Parents have it hard when it comes to taking good care of their children — and that includes the dreadful parental responsibility of getting their kids to develop good dental hygiene. Most kids are not particularly fond of brushing their teeth — or doing just about anything that entails to cutting off their playtime! Whether it’s simply brushing, practicing daily flossing, or making it to regular dental checkups (probably the most maddening part of it all), guiding kids down the path of good oral health can be a pain in the neck to many parents.
So how do you do it?
Here are tips to help your child develop good dental hygiene — without all the crying and screaming:
1. Establish a home that promotes dental hygiene
The best way to develop a good dental hygiene is to start them early. When they turn two or three, start teaching them some simple and basic brushing techniques. Be careful when it comes to picking toothpaste. It should be a variety that is made for kids their age. Also, use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste along with a toothbrush that fits their smaller teeth.
2. Carefully explain the purpose of a toothbrush
This method works best for kids old enough to understand what you are saying. Sit down with your child and explain to them why brushing their teeth is a daily activity that should be part of their daily routine. Scare them a bit — if you must — about the ‘horrors’ of leaving their teeth unclean for a day. Once they can understand the main purpose of brushing, they are more likely to develop willingness with dental hygiene.
3. Set a good example
As a parent yourself, you should demonstrate your own dental hygiene routine in order to set a positive example for your small children. Children are said to do exactly what their family members regularly do. Consequently, as much as possible, do all the brushing and flossing whenever and wherever your kids can see you. This way, they will be more motivated to develop the same oral care habits.
4. Let them choose their own toothbrush
Did you know that giving some control to your kids encourages them to engage in some life activities? In this case, bring them along when you go shopping and let them handpick their own dental hygiene supplies. Make it so that they will have fun while doing it so that they can associate the ‘fun activity’ of shopping for dental supplies with the actual dental care activities.
5. Brush together
Another way to make brushing and flossing an enjoyable experience is to do it together with them. Young children tend to imitate what the adults around them do. Show them that brushing their teeth is not some kind of a punishment by joining them in this activity. While you’re at it, you can also play a game so that it brushing their teeth won’t be a bore. Have your child work on their ABC’s while brushing their teeth — it ensures that they’ll brush for an adequate time period and learn their alphabet at the same time.
It is highly recommended for parents to supervise their child during tooth-brushing until they reach an age of seven or eight anyway, so doing this should not be difficult for you.
6. Establish a reward system of some sorts
To make ‘Operation Develop Dental Hygiene’ even more fun and easier for both the kids and the parents themselves, create a reward system for every good dental care routine they have completed. Rewards, such as giving them gold star stickers, can highly motivate them to maintain an oral hygiene routine until they’re old enough to do it without wanting something in return. Keep track of the number of days that they get their ‘assignments’ completed without complaining or throwing hissy fits. At the end of a month or a couple of weeks, tell them about their performance. If they have done an excellent job, you can take them out to watch whatever movie they want to or let them do fun things.
7. Cajole them with videos or storytelling
If all else fails, then the next best play would be to lure them with books or videos. Look for your child’s favorite cartoon character and let them see videos of that character brushing their teeth. You will find various ‘tooth brushing videos’ that feature Mickey Mouse, Teen Titans Go!, Elmo, Peppa Pig, and many more.
8. Introduce them to dental checkups
Visiting a pediatric dentist should always be a part of your ‘Operation Develop Dental Hygiene’. Introduce your kids to dental checkups by letting them visit the dentist every six months. You can have a surprise ready for your kids after their appointment with the dentist, like taking them to an amusement park or letting them play their favorite computer games. Emerald Coast Dentistry in Fort Walton is among the great dental clinics which provides dental services for their young patients. This clinic uses innovative dental marketing page strategies, making it easy for you to find themonn the World Wide Web.
Hopefully, this list will make tackling childhood dental hygiene much easier. With the tips listed above, your child will grow into a confident teeth-brusher who understands the importance of good dental hygiene. You never know, they could be the one eventually reminding you to brush your teeth.