Dental hygiene plays an important part in helping your child follow a healthy lifestyle. My 9 year old is a rock star at the dentist, but not all kiddos are as fearless. In fact, most adults, including myself aren’t as fearless as she is when it comes to having dental work done. As a result, it is vital that you teach them everything they need to know about dental hygiene early on, so that they can develop the necessary knowledge and skills to keep their pearly whites…pearly white! With that in mind, here are some things you can do to help your child understand the importance of dental hygiene in their daily routine!
Teach them to brush their teeth
Firstly, you should begin by ensuring your child knows to brush their teeth twice a day – for at least two minutes each time. You can make it a fun part of your morning and evening routine by playing a fun song during this time, and dancing around whilst you brush. Teach them about the things that can happen if they neglect these tasks, including:
- Tooth loss
While it is important that you don’t scare them, you need to ensure they understand just how serious the situation is, as this will make them more likely to focus on cleaning their teeth.
Teach them not to be afraid of the dentist
Many people have an irrational fear of the dentist – even though they are on hand to help and only want to ensure you are healthy and happy. Therefore, you must teach your child that going to the dentist is no big deal. It is just as simple as a trip to the doctor’s office. One way in which you can do this is through not complaining when you have to go to the dentist yourself, as they often pick up on the way we act around them. You can also read books about going to the dentist, which make the situation seem more ‘normal’, meaning they will be less afraid.
Pay attention to their teeth
Although you may be encouraging your child to take control of their dental hygiene, you should pay close attention to their teeth so that you can support them through any issues they may be facing. Although some things are quite normal – such as slight discoloration here and there – sometimes they may need additional support, such as braces. Additionally, if your child has gaps between their teeth, large tonsils and an over/under bite, they may need Pediatric Airway Treatment. Identifying these problems early can help minimize the severity of any symptoms they may face.
Encourage them to make healthy decisions
Certain foods are bad for our teeth, therefore you must teach your children to eat these foods in moderation. Whilst it is perfectly acceptable to treat yourself now and then, eating too many will only lead to problems further down the line. Here are some foods you might want to limit their intake of:
- Fizzy drinks
- Sunflower seeds
Don’t make them feel embarrassed
Many of us are a little embarrassed by our smiles or may feel upset if we need any dental work done. Therefore, if your child does need dental work – such as a filling for a cavity – don’t make a big deal out of it – just let them know you are there if they need any extra support! Dental hygiene is something that should be taught from birth and reinforced as part of life’s daily routine.