Everyone has to take care of their teeth, as good dental hygiene is necessary for your overall health and wellness. That means as soon as your child gets their teeth in, you have to start thinking about their dental health. Teaching them about proper oral care and encouraging them to take care of their teeth needs to happen early, so they form habits when they’re young and stick to them.
It can be tough to do though, because the process is long and young kids can forget their routine, not to mention going to the dentist can be intimidating and scary. However, with patience and encouragement, plus the advice in this article, you can succeed and all have happy teeth.
Explain how sugar affects their teeth
Rather than just telling your child sugar is bad for their teeth and that they should never have any sweets, explain why and what the effects are in the short and long term. If the information you give them is practical, they will retain it better and actually understand why they should make good choices when it comes to sugar-filled food. You can explain with the help of a book, or show them by all doing an experiment together. If you make the learning fun, it can help keep their interest.
Make healthy snacks fun
Another way to get kids to think about how much sugar they eat is by making healthier snacks more fun, just like candy and other treats are. Have fruit cut up and arranged into shapes, like faces, or objects like the sun. Involve them in the preparation from the beginning and go grocery shopping together to pick out the snacks everyone can agree on, then hang out in the kitchen and prepare them together. Remember, once in a while a treat or two doesn’t hurt, as long as they brush after.
Whatever you do, the kids want to do too, so why not make tooth-brushing time a family activity and part of your bedtime routine? Show them how it’s done by flossing and brushing and then let them try it on their own, helping if necessary.
Go to a pediatric dentist
Finding a good pediatric dentist is key to making your young one feel comfortable visiting them. Some pediatric dentists, like Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, offer rewards like electric toothbrushes and board games after a series of cavity-free visits, which can incentivize good dental hygiene. It can help take the stress out of dentist visits and make them more fun, so they equate good oral hygiene as a positive experience.
Use apps for kids
Children these days are pretty tech-savvy, and there are plenty of apps out there designed for kids that can teach them and keep them interested in dental care. Most of them are free as well, plus there are lots of kid-friendly websites that offer games and activities as well.
Learning about dental health doesn’t have to be tedious and stressful. The importance of starting kids young with good habits should be made clear so they can prevent problems when they’re older, like bad breath, gum disease, or tooth decay.