Parents, what you say and do regarding oral health habits impacts how your children’s teeth, gums and bone structure thrive. Learn from your family dentists in Mt. Holly how you can model and teach great oral hygiene that will last kids, and their smiles, a lifetime.
Be Proactive and Positive
Parents, what you say and do regarding oral health impresses your kids. If you brush and floss twice a day as the American Dental Association recommends, and allow the children to see you doing it, you are modeling great behavior.
Make sure your show your little ones how your brush gently with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste, taking your time with each quadrant of your mouth. Rinse well, and demonstrate the right way to floss in between your teeth to remove harmful plaque.
Also, when it’s time for your routine check-up and cleaning at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry, be positive in how you speak about your appointment. Kids pick up on parents’ attitudes toward just about everything. So, avoid words such as “nervous” or “pain.” Instead, emphasize how important it is for your dentist to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Stick with Their Hygiene Routines
That means brush and floss little ones teeth until they have the dexterity to do it for themselves. Continue to supervise children through the age of 10 or so to ensure they do the job right.
Brushing for a full two minutes can be hard for kids–and adults, too. So, set a timer, or look for one of the many phone apps that will ensure they spend the right amount of time brushing. You may use plaque disclosing tablets (over the counter tablets with red or blue vegetable coloring) which stain food residues and reveal what areas toothbrushes are missing.
Parents sing songs and make up games to help their children learn their ABCs, numbers and other important basics. Apply these strategies to flossing and brushing. Demonstrate proper technique using a hand puppet, or go on mouthhealthy.org, the consumer website of the American Dental Association. Search for toothbrushing tunes that help kids through their oral hygiene routines.
Of course, rewarding proper behavior is always a good idea. Uses sticker and stars on a weekly brushing chart to applaud your child for a job well done.
What to Avoid
Yes, there are don’ts associated with kids’ oral hygiene. Avoid:
- High carb diets
- Pacifiers and baby bottles at bedtime
- Playing sports without mouthguards
- Sports drinks and soda pop (water is the best substitute)
- Modeling bad habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco and poor diet
Bring Them to Mt. Holly Family Dentistry
Make dental care a family affair. Your entire household will benefit from the friendly and skilled care at Mt. Holly Family Dentistry. Drs. Greenberg, Govitrikar and Cygler wish to partner with parents in fostering great oral hygiene habits for their kids. Schedule their six-month check-ups and cleanings today.