Teaching children the importance of good oral hygiene can set them on a lifelong journey to a healthy and beautiful smile. Since many children do not understand the consequences of poor oral hygiene and are resistant, getting them to practice healthy dental habits might be difficult. With the following tips, you can teach your children to take care of their gums and teeth, boosting their self-confidence and preventing various health problems.
Teach Brushing in Early Childhood
Do not wait for your child to reach a specific age until you introduce oral hygiene. You can start by taking simple steps, such as cleaning their gums with a damp wash cloth after nursing them. Even though your child will not understand what’s going on at this stage, you will still be preparing them for a routine they can follow as they grow older.
Once your child starts consuming solid foods, you can introduce them to a finger brush with soft rubber bristles. Wear this around your finger and thoroughly clean the insides of your child’s mouth, teeth, and gums. A visit to the dentist in early childhood will familiarize your child with dental clinics and reduce dental anxiety.
Give Enamel Education
Remember that children value different things for different reasons. When your child is old enough to understand the basics of oral hygiene, teach them the value of their teeth. Use toys, games, their favorite cartoon characters, and activities to help them understand the importance of keeping their teeth in the best condition. Supplement enamel education with the right tools, such as eye-catching brushes and tasty toothpaste. From vibrating and fun-shaped toothbrushes to watermelon, bubblegum, or berry-flavored toothpaste, focus on making the brushing activity as fun as possible.
Practice what you Preach
Children are big copy-cats and will follow suit, especially if you show them how you value your teeth. Make family flossing a daily habit where you take time to show your child the proper brushing and flossing techniques, and do so in a fun way. Set a timer to two minutes as recommended by the American Dental Association, and in the meantime, you can put on some music to make the activity less boring for the little one. You can also put their favorite tunes as a substitute for the timer.
Show them Scientific Experiments
Children love visuals, so take advantage of that and show them different experiments demonstrating the impact of certain actions on their oral health. For example, you can find videos that show the impact of dropping a tooth into a glass of soda. Experiments like these truly stay with children and may help them make better decisions regarding their oral hygiene.
Teaching children the importance of oral hygiene is a process that takes time and effort and requires consistency. Depending on your child’s personality, you will have to incorporate different methods to help them understand the value of their teeth. You can always collaborate with a professional hygienist or doctor for more ideas.