As a parent, you play a big role in your child’s dental health. That’s why you encourage your child to brush and floss regularly. By prioritizing oral health, you establish a foundation of good oral care for life. Today, we wanted to share how you can encourage your kids at home to make oral health a priority:
- Start early.
Before your baby’s first tooth even appears, you can start on an oral care routine. Wipe down their gums with a damp wash cloth after feeding. Once their first tooth comes in, use a soft baby toothbrush and baby teeth toothpaste to clean it. At age 2, switch to a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Once teeth touch together, make sure to floss between them.
- Make brushing fun.
One to encourage brushing routines is by making it enjoyable. Allow your kids to pick out their own toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters. Play fun music or handheld timer apps while they brush to ensure they brush for the full two minutes. You can even turn it into a fun dance party!
- Brush together.
Children learn the most by watching their parents. So set a good example by brushing your own teeth together with your kids. Make it enjoyable for quality time together. Talk about your teeth brushing process of getting all sides of your teeth and brushing your tongue. Make sure you brag about how clean your teeth feel!
- Use positive reinforcement.
Praise your kids when they brush properly or consistently. Consider a reward system with stickers or treats to motivate good brushing habits. There are plenty of reward charts available that will make tracking their good oral care habits enjoyable.
- Get regular dental checkups.
Bring your child to the dentist for regular cleanings and exams. We see children as young as 3 years old at our practice. Making it a part of their routine helps them feel comfortable at the dentist early on.
Instilling daily oral health habits early on gives your children the best chance of having healthy and happy smiles for years to come. Lead by example and make brushing a family activity. Protecting their teeth now prevents much costlier dental work down the road. Plus, it helps them make oral health a priority in their adult years.