Teaching your kids about oral health is the key to a lifetime of overall wellness. Proper oral hygiene benefits the systems of the body in many ways, from cardiac health to dementia. Preventing bacterial growth in the mouth stops gum disease in its tracks. When you prioritize oral health for kids, you provide them with one of the top tools they need for a healthy life.
Building good dental hygiene habits from the start is important. Once established, these habits will continue to help your child maintain good oral health throughout their life. Caring for baby teeth is essential to maintaining the health of permanent teeth. Here are 4 things parents should teach their kids about oral health.
1. Be the Example
Instructing your kids is great, but children seem to learn best by imitating their parents. Good oral hygiene and lifelong dental health begin with you. Let your kids see you flossing and brushing every day and they’ll want to follow your lead. Once you prioritize brushing and flossing and show that you enjoy the task, they will as well.
2. Brush the Right Way
Did you know there’s a right way and a not-quite-right way to brush your teeth? Get the most out of brushing time by instructing your kids on the right way to brush their teeth. Begin by example. When your kids watch you brush, show them how you hold your toothbrush, the angle at which the brush meets your teeth, and how long to brush. Demonstrate flossing, too.
There are resources available today that make brushing a fun part of oral health for kids. Toothbrushes with their favorite characters that fit comfortably in a child’s hand, toothpaste in kid-friendly flavors, and colorful floss are all available to entice your kid into proper oral hygiene.
3. Stress the Importance of Good Oral Health
Children need to learn the importance of taking care of their teeth. Understanding cavities and tooth decay is often difficult for the littlest ones to grasp, so take advantage of age-appropriate books and videos on the subject. Once your child grasps the value of maintaining good oral health for kids, they’ll be much more likely to prioritize taking care of their teeth.
4. A Child-friendly Dentist
Take your child to a kid dentist as early as 12 months old. By then, they have their first few teeth, and it’s a good idea to familiarize them with the friendly and happy faces they’ll come to know. At Healthy Smiles Children’s Dentistry, we understand how daunting a dental visit is for children, and our staff knows how to make their time with us a pleasant experience.
Oral Health for Kids is a Team Effort
When you teach your kids about oral health, you fortify them with good habits that will last for years to come. Children aren’t always eager to practice dental hygiene, but with your instruction, patience, example, and consistency, they can become oral health superheroes. Contact Healthy Smiles Children’s Dentistry today and let’s prioritize oral health for kids.