Cultivating good oral hygiene habits in children is very important to ensure that they maintain good oral hygiene habits throughout life.
- Be a Role Model. One of the most important things you can do in order to teach your kids good oral hygiene is being a model of such behaviour yourself. Make an effort to ensure that your toddler sees you brushing their teeth both morning and evening. For example, brush your teeth at the same time they do. You can even let them help you brush your teeth in the same way that you help them brush theirs. Another good idea is to watch a YouTube video of a child having fun while brushing their teeth – they will relate to them.
- Turn Their Toothbrush into a Toy (Go Electric). One of the number one tips that both dentists and parents alike recommend as a way to motivate children to brush their teeth is by turning their toothbrush into a toy by getting them an electric toothbrush. It makes brushing fun. Similarly, consider getting toothpaste with their favourite character on it or using a water flosser to amp up the fun while cleaning one’s teeth.
- Use a Rewards System. Every time your child brushes and flosses their teeth, they get a sticker. Put the sticker on a calendar. After one week, they can exchange their stickers for a trip to the park or a movie night.
- Use the Gross Out Factor To Your Advantage. This works on kids of all ages. Simply pick up some products that reveal plaque on the teeth (chewable tablets or mouth wash, for instance) in a way that gets them focusing on cleaning their teeth.
- Make it Story Time. Incorporate fun stories during teeth brushing time. You can use this as a means to teach your children about good oral hygiene. For example, the toothbrush can be the hero who is after all of the plaque in your child’s mouth, saving your children’s teeth in the process. Another good idea for children to learn good oral hygiene is through the use of songs, many of which are available on YouTube.
- Use a Sock Puppet. If your child is young enough to appreciate sock puppets, but doesn’t want you to be the one to help them brush their teeth, using a sock puppet to help them with the task is a great idea. You can also use this time to teach them the importance of brushing their teeth.
- Give them the Tools. For older children, it is important to turn oral hygiene into a routine. One way to do this is to set an alarm, for example, that reminds them to brush their teeth at a certain time. Alternatively, it could be a timer that goes off after two minutes of brushing their teeth. This gives them a sense of responsibility over caring for their own teeth and therefore motivation to do so.
It is important to cultivate good oral health in children. Contact Sierra Dental today for more information.