When it comes to visiting the dentist, many parents find themselves having to convince their children that there is nothing to be afraid of. Whether it is fear of the unknown, friends telling them scary stories, or picking up on the dread many adults feel when it comes to visiting the dentist, getting your child to the dentist without a tantrum or a few tears can feel like an olympic sport.
However, most children tend to feel more comfortable about something once they understand it. Teaching your children about the importance of oral hygiene can help them grow up with strong, healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few tips on how to teach your kids about oral hygiene:
Finding the right Children’s Dentist is an important first step to instilling oral health in your children. Many children tend to view the dentist as a punishment rather than a place to ensure their teeth and gums are strong and healthy. Visiting the dentist can be a fun experience, especially with the right pediatric dentist. He or she can offer your children the right information on why it is important to see the dentist often and what can happen if children do not take care of their teeth properly.
Lead by Example
Most children follow the example set by their parents. Spend time with your children showing them how to brush their teeth. In order to make it a habit for them, brush your teeth together in the mornings and at night. Consider making it a fun experience by letting them brush your teeth since you helped them brush their own teeth. Help them floss their teeth as well. Flossing is an incredibly important aspect of oral hygiene, and it can be easy to forget.
Moreover, when talking about oral hygiene or visiting the dentist, keep the conversation positive. If they see that you are not afraid of the dentist, they will be less afraid as well.
Add it To the Routine
Help your children get into the habit of brushing their teeth by adding it to their morning and nightly routine. Many parents have charts to help their children remember what it is they need to do each morning and night in order to get ready. Depending upon the age of your children, you can make their morning and nightly schedules more or less detailed, but make sure to include oral hygiene on the schedule, as it will help them grow into the habit of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly.
The Right Tools
Giving your children the right tools can help them succeed with their oral hygiene goals. Many parents and dentists have found that investing in an electric toothbrush has given their children the motivation they need to brush properly. Electric toothbrushes are not only fun, they are also extremely efficient in how they brush. Additionally, many children have been known to brush their teeth and gums with too much force, which can severely damage the gums, making them recede or bleed. Using an electric toothbrush can help them avoid these dangers, as it is automatically gentle on the teeth and gums.
Consider using a water flosser as well, which is far more delicate and gentle than traditional floss. Moreover, water flossers tend to work better than regular floss, as it is a more powerful way to remove food from in-between the teeth.
Sometimes one of the best resources you have to teach your children is visuals of what good and bad oral hygiene looks like. Of course, whatever visuals you use you will want to use your discretion based upon the ages of your children; however, visuals can provide your children with the proper motivation to keep their teeth clean. Show them before and after pictures of teeth, and pictures of what can happen if teeth are not cared for properly.
Lastly, nutrition plays a big role in oral hygiene. Teaching your children to make healthy choices when it comes to snacks and meals can also help them have healthier teeth. Eating more grains and vegetables can lead to stronger, healthier teeth while ingesting too much sugar can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Helping your kids get into a routine of healthy oral hygiene can help them grow up with strong mouths.
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