Developing healthy oral habits in kids can be rather challenging. At a young age, children are less focused on their health and it becomes the parents’ responsibility to instill those habits in them. Failing to do so can lead to gum disease and dental cavities. A 2011 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 15% of American children between the ages of 5 and 19 had untreated cavities.
The key to minimizing dental issues and ensuring long-term oral hygiene habits is creating a dental schedule for your kids. In addition, you can make extra effort to teach your kids about the importance of dental care. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help develop good oral habits in your children:
One great way to encourage your kids to follow a good oral routine is to develop a dental chart. The chart should include all the steps involved in cleaning the teeth properly. Add pictures for each step and get your children to write the steps (this’ll help them remember better). Hang the chart close to the sink so that your kids are reminded to follow the steps every time they go brush their teeth.
It’s no news that children love to mimic the actions of their parents. So give them good things to copy, including how to brush their teeth. Brush your teeth with them so they feel inspired or encouraged to copy you, and thus develop good brushing habits overtime. Since flossing is also important for oral hygiene, consult your dentist about when your child should start flossing and get them started with that accordingly.
For many kids, just telling them to do a certain thing isn’t enough. You’ve to explain to them why it’s important. So take out the time to teach your kids why dental hygiene is essential. Share the risks of poor oral hygiene like cavities, tooth loss and gum disease. They’re more likely to feel motivated about looking after their teeth when they know what risks are involved.
Taking care of your oral hygiene isn’t a task; it’s a whole process that starts with the tooth brush and extends to visiting a dentist. So a great way to encourage positive response from your kids is to involve them in the process. Bring them to the store and have them choose their own toothbrush. This will get them excited about oral hygiene, which will act as a positive reinforcement.
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