Tips for Instilling Good Dental Habits in Your Children
It is often said that the key to excellent dental and oral health is to start it as early as possible in the life of a child. While not all parents are successful in instilling good dental habits in their children, there are a handful of tips that you can adhere to in order to make sure that your kids will grow into dental and oral health-conscious individuals. Here are some of them:
Make it a habit to brush the teeth as a family.
It is quite difficult to instill good dental habits in children if they don’t see their parents doing the same things that they want them to do. Being good role models for children is still one of the best methods to teach the things that we want our kids to develop as a habit. While it is easy to let your children see you how you brush and floss your teeth and even gargle with an appropriate mouth rinse, a much better solution will be to practice good oral hygiene as a family.
Get your spouse and your other children and line up in front of your kitchen sink. Make sure that each one has his or her own oral care essentials like toothbrush and toothpaste and start brushing. Not only are you teaching your child how to brush his or her teeth properly, you’re also creating an opportunity where your bond as a family can be strengthened. Do this every day and your kid will remember it for the rest of his or her life.
Use your child’s favorite toy as an aid.
If you have a toddler, you may want to use his or her favorite toy in brushing. You cannot expect your little tot to be able to brush his or her teeth effectively yet. So, you will be the one to brush your tot’s teeth. However, it is critical that your toddler mimic your actions. Give your child a toy toothbrush and use this to ‘brush’ the teeth of his or her toy.
Stand in front of a mirror and let your toddler sit in front of you so both of you are facing the mirror. Let your child prop his or her toy in front. As you brush your toddler’s teeth, ask your tot to follow your actions by doing the same thing with the toy. This will help inculcate in your toddler’s young mind how to properly brush the teeth. By the time your child is already capable of brushing his or her teeth on his or her own, your kid will already know what to do.
Be creative in the timing of the brushing session.
One of the most important things about brushing the teeth that children need to understand is the correct length of time. Dental professionals say that brushing the teeth should take about 2 minutes or so. Unfortunately, young children may not have a very concrete idea of what 2 minutes mean. You can try playing Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’ since it is approximately 2 minutes long. Aside from the fact that it’s a classic, kids love the tune as much as adults do. There are plenty of ‘brushing songs’ that you can use to approximate time.
Alternatively, you can also use colorful timers as well as certain apps on your smartphone to help make sure that your kid will be brushing his or her teeth for a good 2 minutes.
Create bedtime stories that focus on the care of the teeth.
Bedtime stories are a hit among children. Instead of telling the usual fairy tales, why not create imaginary characters that have something to do with caring for the teeth? Children’s imaginations should never be underestimated. It’s time to use their imagination to the fullest by creating magical creatures and characters that protect and defend the Tooth Kingdom. Be ready to create monsters and villains, too, who are out to destroy the kingdom.
Your kids will remember your stories even when they are grown-ups already.
There are many ways in which you can instill good dental habits in children. You can also click for info on how else you can turn your kids into oral care-loving adults.