Poor dental health hurts more than your children's teeth. If they don't learn how to brush and floss as kids, they'll suffer a lifetime of dental pain, tooth loss, and bad breath. Plus, you'll spend their teenage years making emergency trips to the dentist for root canals and big cavities. Instead, prevent childhood tooth decay with these simple tips.
Make Brushing Fun
Dental experts have worked hard to make oral health fun for kids. You can buy Dora the Explorer or Bob the Builder toothbrushes, cotton-candy-flavored mouthwash, and bubblegum floss. Kids love electronic brushes, and your dentist can recommend a good brand.
You need more than good dental hygiene products to keep your children excited about brushing their teeth. Use positive reinforcement, not punishment, to teach good habits. Pediatric dentists love working with parents, so use your next family check-up to ask for kid-friendly tips.
Be a Good Role Model
If you're slurping soda, skipping flossing, and sucking hard candy every day, your kids won't listen when you tell them how to keep their teeth healthy. You need to show positive dental health behaviors. Brush together as a family. Skip sugary foods and drinks or show your kids how to protect their teeth by brushing or rinsing afterward.
Don't Cancel Halloween
In an ideal world, your kids would never be exposed to massive amounts of sugar on a regular basis. Your family doesn't live in an ideal world, so you need to adapt. Don't skip major holidays, forbid your kids from visiting the dessert table, or insist that cupcakes be banned from the classroom. Instead, teach your family positive dental hygiene habits like avoiding sticky sweets or brushing after snack time.
Find a Child-Friendly Dentist
Not every dentist runs the same type of practice. Pediatric Dentistry of Jupiter chooses to work exclusively with children. They offer services like TVs for every patient, toys in the waiting room, and staff who know how to keep your children relaxed even in the dentist chair. Plus, they'll have great swag like stickers, pencils, and pediatric toothbrushes.
Teach Dental Science
If there's one thing every parent knows, it's that "because I said so" never convinces children to do anything. It's not enough to buy flavored toothpaste and show your kids how you brush your teeth. Children need to understand why they're flossing regularly and avoiding soda. Take the time to teach them the reasoning behind dental hygiene suggestions. Even young kids can understand the basics of tooth decay and bacteria.
The benefits of proper dental care last for decades. Give your child a headstart at protecting their smile. Work with your dentist and create an easy-to-follow plan to teach dental hygiene to your family.