How to Foster Good Dental Hygiene Habits for Kids (Part 2)
Instilling healthy habits into your children at a young age will help them keep up with those good habits down the line. Practicing good dental hygiene is imperative for a person’s health, and starting good habits early is key. Part 1 of this blog series noted that making it a family affair, involving children in the process, and keeping things fun & interesting are all good ways to promote good dental hygiene habits. Here are 3 more great ways to help foster good dental hygiene habits for kids: How to Foster Good Dental Hygiene Habits for Kids
Practice What you Preach
The best way to teach your kids good dental hygiene is to practice what you preach. After all, if you don’t practice good dental hygiene habits (or other good habits for that matter), your children will likely follow suit. “Do as I say and not as I do” isn’t a positive or practical approach when it comes to taking care of yourself. Ensure you regularly brush your teeth at least twice per day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash. Make it a point to show your children that you’re practicing good dental hygiene to help make sure your mouth and body remain healthy and ensure they follow suit.
Reward and Reinforce
You can also reinforce good behavior by rewarding your child with positive feedback and acknowledgment. It’s important to be consistent in this approach, though, since it may take a while for your child to realize the positive effects of his or her actions. In addition, you should be patient and understand that kids tend to make mistakes; they don’t always understand how their actions affect others around them—and they need you as their parent(s) to teach them that lesson! Praise your children when they go to brush their teeth without being reminded to do so, and you can even bring rewards into the equation. However, it’s a good idea to make the rewards related to something other than food (especially sugary foods and beverages) so mixed messages aren’t being sent when it comes to oral care.
Connect Dental Health With Overall Health
Dental hygiene is important for overall health. It’s not just about having a dazzling smile, it’s about physical health and quality of life. Oral health affects how well your body works, how you feel, and the appearance of your face. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and see their dentist regularly. Help your children make the connection between oral health and overall wellness by talking with them about why it’s important to brush their teeth twice a day, especially right before bedtime when cavity-causing bacteria are most active! Regular brushing habits can become part of the daily routine when your children realize how quick, easy, and important it is. Your local family dentist in Forest Lake MN can also communicate with your children about the connection between dental health and overall health.
Remember, it’s always important to schedule your regular dental cleanings & exams with your local family dentist, too. At Birch Lake Dental, we want to promote healthy and beautiful smiles for your whole family; don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment with your local dentist in Forest Lake MN.