How many of us have heard that ‘too much sugar will rot your teeth’ while growing up? It’s one of the most common phrases uttered by parents to deter their kids from sucking on sweets and sipping sugary juices all day. And while reducing sugar intake definitely helps prevent tooth decay, it is not merely enough to help kids develop good dental hygiene habits.
Here are 5 ways you can help your kid develop healthy habits for taking care of their teeth!
1. Talk to Them
Do you sometimes wonder why kids are irritated by the thought of stopping play time to go and stick a plastic brush with some paste into their mouth twice a day?
In order to help your kid develop a positive association with the habit of brushing their teeth, talk to them about why it’s important. Help them understand why brushing their teeth is a good thing by using language and examples that are easy to understand for them.
2. Practice Oral Hygiene Together
Kids follow by example. Instead of telling them to go and brush their teeth, why not ask them to join you so you can do it together? Not only will this make them feel like they’re being included, it will also help establish that brushing and flossing is not a punishment that adults give to make their lives hard.
3. Reward Them for Good Behavior
Set up easy goals for oral hygiene like flossing or only spitting, not rinsing toothpaste and reward your child when they follow through. This doesn’t need to be a very monetary award, something as simple as a sticker or an extra story before bed can reinforce good habits.
4. Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush
Letting your child choose a toothbrush in a color or with a pattern they like will help them develop a personal connection to their tools. This means that brushing time is something they’re more likely to look forward to.
Parents need to be extra careful when teaching their little ones about how to take care of their teeth because the habits that they learn in their childhood will stay with them for the rest of their life. So if you brush off poor oral hygiene in their childhood thinking their baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, you may get them in deep trouble later on in life!
Want to learn more? Give our office a call at 203.878.8596. We look forward to speaking with you.