One of the most crucial lessons we can learn during our youth is performing proper oral hygiene. Before the first tooth even comes in, children should be exposed to these habits. Once the first tooth erupts, they should have their teeth brushed regularly, slowly graduating to brushing their teeth on their own. Steps like these will ensure that we get into the habit of protecting our oral health from the beginning. Primary teeth may be temporary, but they still need this kind of care. They are crucial in developing our adult smile, ensuring that the permanent teeth come in straight and have plenty of room to do so.
How To Instill Good Oral Hygiene Habits In Children
Educating our children about oral hygiene is a crucial part of their upbringing, but it can be challenging. It takes care to ensure that they will engage with the process and take these lessons to heart. One important first step in this process is ensuring that you provide them agency in their decisions. Talk to them about their dental health, let them ask questions, and answer them as often as necessary. These repetitive questions are their way of instilling information in themselves and will help form the foundation of their future habits. However, answering questions is just the first step. Below are some important tips to help make sure these habits become permanent.
- Let Them Choose Their Tools – When you go out shopping to pick up toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other dental hygiene products for your child, bring them along. Give them the option of which products to choose, and respect their choices so long as they meet their dental hygiene needs. If you can’t take them with you, video calling is a viable way of engaging them in the process. You can also shop online, where greater options exist.
- Let Them Set The Date – When you schedule their appointments, have them involved. Get a selection of available times and dates that suit your schedule. Then let them pick from those times, and mark them on a calendar. You can ask them occasionally when their appointment is, though more often, they’ll be the ones reminding you. This is a good sign that habits are starting to take hold.
- Hygiene As A Family – Making dental hygiene part of your daily family time can also help. Play fun music for a timer, make it part of their bedtime routine and keep it light when possible. Your child may come to cherish these times, and the habit will become a source of comfort that may help in mentally preparing them for bed.
Speak To Your Dentist For More Tips
Your pediatric dentist is available to help you navigate the difficult developmental years of your child’s life. They can offer advice on how to help promote oral hygiene habits and address developing dental health concerns as they arise. An important part of your child’s dental care is ensuring that they have regular visits with their dentist at least twice a year and more often when necessary.