The morning and nighttime routine for parents with young children can be difficult, to say the least. Implement important daily tasks sooner rather than later:
- brushing hair
- brushing teeth
Instilling the importance of good hygiene in your children starts with consistency and continuing education as they grow older. Even as your children get older, it can be difficult to keep track of and enforce daily hygiene routines. As a parent, you can promote dental health in many ways.
Promote Dental Health in your kids
Consider some of the ways you can set the right foundation.
Make it an event
As soon as your child gets their first tooth, it’s important to be mindful of the tooth-brushing process. There are smaller toothbrushes that are specifically for babies and toddlers that you will have to do for them. However, you can start your toddler on brushing their own teeth whenever your dentist recommends it. Just like there is a clean-up song for when it’s time to clean up the playroom, create a tooth-brushing song for when it’s time to brush teeth. It’ll become a rhythm and a vital part of the routine.
Consider checking out toothbrushes that play music as your little one brushes their teeth. This can give them more interest in brushing for the recommended time of two minutes so they can continue to listen to their favorite tunes.
Education is paramount. If a person doesn’t know better, they can’t do better. You can find ways to break down the importance of proper oral care and tooth-brushing practices through education. When it’s time to purchase new storybooks for the children, find a few that cover tooth-brushing practices and oral health.
Older kids will be able to comprehend more so you can show them articles online so they can fully understand the potential consequences of not taking care of your teeth. Make sure the information is relatable to their age so that they can have an easier time understanding it.
Show the results of poor oral hygiene
Granted, you don’t want to turn oral hygiene into a horror story. However, you do want to be clear about the consequences of poor oral hygiene. Show pictures of a mouth with cavities. Teach kids about how they can get cavities by consuming too much candy. It’s even wise to pair tooth-brushing with the importance of flossing.
While brushing the teeth after each meal is important, you don’t always get everything that’s in the crevices of the mouth. This is why carrying dental floss is just as important. Pictures that show the results of a failure to floss can really help your children understand how important it is to prioritize dental hygiene throughout each day.
Partner with a great dentist
There are many children who are really afraid of the dentist and the doctor. You can shift the negative programming by finding an excellent dentist in Palmdale CA or your particular locale. Choose a dental professional who is great with children, gentle and family-oriented. When you’re able to find a dentist who has a great rapport with your children, it’ll be easier for your children to view the dentist as a hero who works to help them maintain beautiful smiles, healthy gums and strong teeth.
If your kids are afraid of dental visits, create incentives that motivate them to push through anyway. If they know that a trip to their favorite store will follow a trip to the dentist, this might help them feel better about the experience. Sometimes, nice treats can really help.
Lead by example
As the parent, you are your child’s first example. If they see you doing something, chances are they’ll want to do it too. Create a regimen where you brush your teeth with your children. You all can create a fun bedtime routine together. If they see you washing your face, combing your hair and brushing your teeth, they’ll be able to see how important self-care is to you.
Children are always watching and paying attention. Try creating a chore chart or checklist in order to motivate your older kids with incentives. At the end of every week they can earn money, or points that they can use towards rewards of your choosing. Consider keeping the chart in their bathroom on the mirror so that they will be reminded every morning and night. The chore chart can include picking up after themselves, placing clothes in the hamper, taking a bath as well as brushing teeth. When tooth-brushing becomes a family affair, it’s easier for children to make it a part of their lifestyle.
Most parents desire to instill the right values in their children. This will set them up for independence and successful living in the future. When you do your part in making sure your kids understand the value of oral health, you can take comfort in the fact you’ve done your best!
Author Bio: Rayanne Morriss is currently working towards her BA from Oregon State University. She loves to write, read, travel, and paint. She enjoys finding new coffee shops with friends and expanding her cooking skills with her husband.