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5 Tips for Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

Is getting your child to brush their teeth a daily chore? Teaching them good dental habits early isn’t always easy, but it’s an important lesson that will impact their health for the rest of their life. You might have a hard time getting your child(ren) to brush and floss every day, and that’s normal! Encourage proper techniques and habits, leading by example. There are, however, some techniques you can pick up to try and make it more fun.

  1. Start Early

We recommend you start taking your child to the dentist by the time they turn one – or six months after their first tooth comes in. As soon as your child’s first tooth sprouts, it is accessible to plaque, which can lead to cavities and other dental complications. Ask your dentist about the proper steps for caring for your baby’s first teeth.

This is also a good time to get advice on your child’s incorrect oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking and pacifier use. Follow up with your dentist as often as every six months. They will be able to assist you in making an oral care schedule for your child.

  1. Get Them Involved

Letting children make their own choices about their toothbrushes and toothpaste will help spark their interest in dental care so it will seem like more of a fun activity than a chore. If a princess toothbrush makes taking care of their teeth more fun, go for it! Just make sure whatever they choose is approved by the FDA and ADA. 

  1. Offer Incentives 

Let’s face it, as parents, a little bribe here and there will work. Start small – offer extra playtime or a treat over the weekend. We don’t recommend big rewards every day because this can lead to unmet expectations and ruin your progress. Small rewards over a longer period of time will allow for “weaning” off this technique, at the same time encouraging good oral care.

  1. Educate

Teach your children all about dental care and the consequences of not following proper cleaning techniques. Be sure that they understand why we take care of our teeth and how they help us every day. And make sure older siblings are on board too! 

  1. Make it a routine

Children respond well to patterns and routines. Be sure to incorporate good dental care into their morning, afternoon, and evening routine. Keep an eye on them during these times to ensure they are using proper techniques and ask your dentist if you have any questions about how to improve their daily routines.

If you have any additional questions about your children’s oral health, contact us!