When it comes to the way children view dental hygiene, their upbringing can play a significant factor, and what they learn as kids in Indiana can stick with them wherever they land as adults. We think it is incredibly important for families to set a positive example of what healthy mouths look like early on in life. Of course, with candy, soda, and busy lifestyles, this can be easier said than done. We are here to help! Here are few things to keep in mind as you raise a child or grandchild to think about oral health.
Make It Fun
Who says tooth care has to be boring? Make even the mundane seem exciting with colorful toothbrushes, flavorful paste, and entertaining timers to track how long your kiddos have been at the sink. You can also enlist the help of your child’s favorite characters by seeking out books, shows, and music that features them talking about the importance of a healthy mouth. It’s also helpful to keep things consistent. On vacation, for example, your dental routine should not take a time out. Try making a game out of how many interesting locations your child has brushed his or her teeth. You can even map it out to track your youngster’s progress.
The sooner you normalize a healthy dental routine for your child, the sooner they will become familiar with and embrace one. The age that your child develops his or her first teeth varies, but even before they appear, you can start cleaning your little one’s mouth with a cloth. This will get your baby comfortable with the process and help him or her understand its role in general health. And don’t put off your child’s first trip to the dentist. Encourage kids to ask questions and consider providing a tooth-friendly post-appointment treat.
Let It Be A Family Thing
Does your little one like to imitate everything his or her “big kid” relatives do? Extend the copycat behaviors into dental care. Ask older siblings, cool cousins, and beloved grandparents to set a good example that youngsters can replicate. Sometimes, a dental “mentor” can be the best motivation to keep a healthy mouth.
Keep Them Informed
Do you have an upcoming root canal? Maybe you are dealing with a chronic toothache or paying for whitening treatments that could have been avoided with regular dental hygiene. Whatever your dental situation, don’t hide it from your children. Of course, you shouldn’t make the consequences seem too scary, but seeing real-life examples of what can happen when teeth are cared for or not cared for can make a big difference in the way they decide to look after their own teeth both now and as they age.
If you are having trouble getting your child excited about dental care or have questions about how to do so, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. We are happy to help you establish a routine that both you and your little one can embrace.