Getting your children to enjoy bathtime is hard enough, but when it comes to taking good care of their teeth, it can be a daily struggle. However, it is essential that your children learn early on how important it is to take good care of their teeth and gums. Here are some tips for encouraging proper oral hygiene as soon as they get their first teeth.
Make Brushing Teeth Fun
Start by turning teeth brushing into a fun, daily activity. Get a fun stool they can stand on and let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are many different styles available for kids now, including sparkly toothbrushes, toothbrushes with characters, and even toothbrushes that play music or light up when being used. They can also choose different types of toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum, but still has fluoride for cleaning their teeth. It can also help to play fun songs in the bathroom while they are brushing their teeth, choosing songs that last for the recommended amount of brushing. When the song is over, they know they have brushed their teeth for long enough.
Show by Example
Your children pay a lot more attention to what you do or don't do than you might think. You want to set a good example by participating in brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, every day. You might consider making it a family affair, by having everyone brush their teeth together. That way, you can not only supervise the oral hygiene regimen, but your children know you find it just as important for yourself, as for them. Another way to set a good example is by reducing how much sugar you consume so they can learn this important habit as well.
Keep Explaining the Importance of Oral Hygiene
Never stop teaching your children about the importance of proper oral hygiene. There are many ways to do it without your children thinking it is a constant lecture. There are children's books that share funny and entertaining stories where the characters show why your children should brush and floss every day. You may also be able to find animated videos and cartoons that also talk about oral health. If you can't find what you need, make up your own stories or songs to teach about oral hygiene.
Bring Them to the Dentist Early
As soon as your child starts having teeth come in, it is time to schedule an appointment with the pediatric dentist (such as one from Children's Dental Center Of Central Iowa PLC). The earlier you bring them into the dentist, the more comfortable they will feel there. Children who don't visit the dentist until their first cavity is being filled often have bad experiences and a fear of the dentist. By bringing them regularly for check-ups and choosing the dentist wisely, you can help them feel more comfortable. As a bonus, the staff in pediatric dentist's offices are very good at further explaining why taking care of their teeth is important to their overall health.
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