Even though tooth decay is one of the most common issues children face, it is completely preventable. With the proper oral hygiene routines, your child will never have to deal with the pain and frustration that comes with tooth decay. The earlier you get your child used to practicing good oral hygiene, the quicker they will pick up good oral healthcare habits. At Harmony Dental, our pediatric dentist in Waterloo has put together this article so that you can learn about the best ways to instill healthy oral hygiene habits into your children.
How Do You Establish Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Children?
Like any other habit, repetition is key to establishing good oral health habits in children. Here are some tips to help you establish good oral hygiene as a habit in your home:
• Begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, warm cloth twice daily before their teeth erupt. Once their teeth erupt, brush them each morning and evening with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
• Take your child to visit our pediatric dentist near you no later than their first birthday or as soon as their teeth break through their gums, whichever comes first.
• Monitor your child when they brush and floss their teeth until they reach about six.
• Teach your child how to brush along their gum line and around their teeth.
• Model good oral hygiene habits independently- kids will follow your example.
• Consider getting your child dental sealants to lower their risk of developing cavities.
How to Motivate Your Children to Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Knowing the negative consequences of not looking after your teeth isn’t always enough to keep the little ones brushing. It takes a little motivation to learn important life habits.
Here are some ways you can give your child an extra nudge in the direction of healthy oral habits:
• Every three months, when it is time for your child to get a new toothbrush, let them pick the colour of their new toothbrush and select a toothpaste that fits your criteria.
• Use a star chart to motivate your child to brush their teeth in the morning and evening.
• Tell your child stories about how the toothpaste warriors fight the pesky cavities bugs trying to dig holes in their teeth- creativity is key here!
• After taking your child to our dentist in Waterloo, take them out for a fun activity such as bowling or to the playground.
• Play a fun two-minute-long song while your child brushes- they can dance and clean simultaneously!
• Make brushing a family event- families that brush together keep healthy mouths together!
• Set a two-minute timer and make it a challenge to keep brushing until it goes off.
Don’t Give Up
It may take some time for your child to establish good oral hygiene habits, but making it fun and educating your child on the importance of oral health is an excellent way to get them excited about keeping up their oral hygiene.
When you take your child to our dental clinic near you, our team of dedicated dental professionals at Harmony Dental will work with them to teach them about the best oral hygiene practices educationally and entertainingly. Getting your child started on a journey of optimal oral health is one of the best things you can do for them. Please get in touch with us to book a consultation for your child’s oral health checkup today!