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Posted on: January 5, 2017
Steps to Instill Proper Oral Care Habits with Children
When it comes to children, it can be a struggle to instill the proper oral care habits that will benefit your young ones throughout life. However, this is an important part of parental instruction because habits that are started in youth often become lifetime habits. Good habits in oral care will help your child to enjoy a healthy mouth throughout life. If bad habits form, though, they can be tough to break later on. How can you give your child a good start?
The Family that Brushes Together
Children often do what they see mom and dad doing. Therefore, brushing together can be a great way to get your children started on the road to lifelong proper oral care. This also allows you to provide correction for your child’s technique as well as to makes sure he or she brushes for a full two minutes.
Make It Fun
Some kids see brushing as boring and something that is not enjoyed. How can you change that viewpoint? Trying making brushing fun by letting your child have a cool toothbrush. Get a flavor of toothpaste your child enjoys. Also, find songs that are about 2 minutes long to play so you can gauge the proper brushing time in a fun way.
Habits Require a Good Routine
If your child is school-aged, make brushing the last thing that has to be done before leaving for school. Then make sure he or she is in the bathroom early enough to brush a full two minutes before running out to catch the bus.
In the evening, brushing can become a part of the routine for getting ready for bed. While most kids don’t like bedtime, if you do something together after brushing occurs (reading a book together for a few minutes, for example), your child may be excited to brush in order to get to the other fun parts of the bedtime routine.
Don’t Downplay the Importance of “Baby Teeth”
Yes, a child’s teeth will fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth, but treating those baby teeth as less important is a good way to instill the wrong kind of oral care habits. Therefore, start young and don’t let your child skip brushing just because those teeth are going to have to come out anyway.
Also, don’t forget to include flossing at least once per day in your child’s routine. If flossing the normal way is tough, you may try gentle floss picks at first.
By instilling these habits early, you give your child the best chance at a great smile and good oral health for many years to come.