Children live in a special world where fun, being dumb, and avoiding things that stand in the way of their good time are their top priorities. Children often prefer to avoid everyday activities for this reason, which do not motivate them in a pleasant way. Brushing teeth is about as high as cleaning a bedroom for most kids. So, how do you foster your children’s excitement for something as important (and “boring”) as dental care? Here are some great tips on how to teach good oral hygiene to children:
Lead by example. Your children look to you when gauging appropriate behavior, and that’s no less true when it comes to oral hygiene. If you make it a point to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist when needed (and without too much complaining), then you can rest assured that you are doing the single most important things you can do when it comes to teaching your children to have an appreciation for good oral hygiene.
Invest in some cool tools and toiletries. Take a trip to any local retail department store to find a wide array of neat products designed specifically for keeping your children’s chompers in top shape. Look for specially-flavored toothpaste and mouthwashes formulated especially for kids, as well as toothbrushes that vibrate, time tooth-brushing sessions, play music, and more.
Reward good behavior. Keep an oral hygiene chart in plain view (near the behavior or allowance chart or in the bathroom is a good idea), and give your children a star or checkmark for each day that they successfully brush their teeth as needed, and without your prompting. At the end of the week, offer a reward in the form of an ooey-gooey treat (candy and ice cream are always a big hit) and tell your children that their good oral hygiene habits enable them to indulge every so often.
Oral hygiene is an important component of overall health and well-being, and good oral hygiene habits start in infancy. It is critical that you now take care of the oral health of your children so that they can grow their own good dental habits as adults. Finding a pediatric dentist you can trust is an integral part of your children’s oral care. Call us today at (480) 867-1727!