Teaching and parenting go hand in hand, but some lessons are harder to pass on. Since we all want healthy teeth, learn how to pass on good dental hygiene habits to your kids. Make it fun and smile with pride!
Parenting is a unique adventure, but one thing that all parents are concerned about is their child’s dental hygiene. Everyone wants their kids to have nice teeth. This means teaching them good dental habits so they grow up to continue those healthy habits well into adulthood. This is often easier said than done, but setting a positive foundation at an early age is well worth the effort.
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If you’re not sure where to start regarding dental hygiene, then we’re here to help. You are not alone and may find yourself changing your own habits in the process. If these tips seem obvious, then you are already on the right track. Don’t worry if this is a wake up call, because all of these changes are simple and approachable. Here are five things you need to know when teaching your kids good dental hygiene habits.
Brush Smart with Good Dental Hygiene
1. Watch What Your Family Drinks
What your family drinks is incredibly important. The best option is for you and your family to stick to water as much as possible. For instance, while sports drinks like Powerade®, Gatorade®, and Propel® may seem safe, they can be harmful to teeth. Despite the added vitamins, they are still a form of sugar water. Energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster®, and Red Bull® are even worse and can cause double the enamel erosion. Even too much natural juice is bad for your teeth. Keeping what your family drinks in mind will help prevent unnecessary dental damage and create healthy habits for both you and your children.
2. Teach Proper Brushing and Flossing
While minding what your family drinks is important, everyone must learn proper brushing and flossing techniques to help keep their teeth healthy. Habits are formed after 7-10 consecutive days, so make them line up with your daily routine. Once your child is old enough to spit out toothpaste, consider switching them over to one that contains fluoride. If you’re unsure about how best to teach them brushing and flossing, your dentist can help show you. Children will usually require help brushing until they are about seven or eight. Make sure you are taking them to the dentist as well!
3. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Make sure that your child sees their dentist regularly. This is another important step for instilling good habits and making sure they stick. Children usually begin seeing a pediatric dentist at around six months to one year of age, with regular appointments scheduled as directed by your dentist. It’s okay to wait until they are two years old, but get them there by then. Making sure your child doesn’t miss any of their appointments is important for maintaining their dental health and detecting problems early. Over 32% of people report that they are concerned about how their teeth look. In some cases, this self-consciousness could have been helped by early intervention dental treatments.
4. Teach Mouth Safety
Dental injuries can happen often in sports, and for those with children playing baseball, soccer, or football, teaching them about safety is necessary. Invest in a quality mouth guard and show them how to use it properly. You can even talk to your dentist about having a custom-fitted mouth guard made for better protection. Regardless of whether you have one made or not, make sure to emphasize their importance to your kids. Always wearing them during practice and games is critical. Just as you don’t want them riding a bike without a helmet, they should try to stay away from sports without the proper protection.
5. Develop the Habits You Want Your Kids to Have
When it comes to parenting, one of the best things you can do is teach by example. If you take care of your teeth, your kids will learn by watching you. Plus, they will want to brush because you are. It’s estimated that about one in every five Americans is living with untreated cavities. If you have dental problems like this, tell your child about how you’re going to fix them and inform them about the importance of not letting their teeth go without treatment. If they see that you’re willing to go to the dentist, it will make them feel better about going. Similarly, brushing every day and eating well are other dental health habits that you should demonstrate to help show them that it’s the smart thing to do.
All parents want their children to develop good dental hygiene habits and these five tips are sure to help. Set them up for success and aim to make it fun. Take some time to consider how you can implement these changes in your home and your daily routine. Then your kids will start creating healthy lasting habits.
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