As a parent, you have a number of very important tasks related to childrearing in front of you. Teaching your children about proper personal hygiene steps is essential, and this includes everything from bathing and keeping their nails trimmed to brushing and flossing teeth. Your goal is to make them self-sufficient in each of these areas. Proper dental care is usually a matter that is tended to by parents as soon as a baby gets his or her first teeth in. As the baby grows into a toddler and into an older child, parents may allow the child to increasingly take on more responsibilities for their own dental care. However, given the fact that many adults have poor or mediocre dental care practices of their own, it stands to reason that you may want to take every step possible to ensure that your children’s pearly whites remain healthy for as long as possible. You can more easily teach your children how to properly care for their teeth and gums by taking a few important steps.
Lead by Example
Dental care is often something that is rushed through in the morning and that may seem almost as an afterthought in the evening before bed. Your child observe and internalize this behavior toward oral hygiene. This essentially teaches children that dental care is not necessarily a top priority and that it may be acceptable to skimp on as needed. Rather than give this impression, make a top priority of brushing and flossing next to your child on a daily basis. Take time to talk about what you are doing and why. Ensure that your child is using the right techniques. Some children have trouble reaching a certain area of their mouth with a toothbrush or with dental floss. Look for these challenges, and be prepared to offer solutions. Just as is the case with many other things, your child learns about dental care by watching what you do. Ensure that you are a positive example.
Use Books and Movies
Teaching younger children about proper dental care can involve more than simply how-to lessons each morning and evening. There are many books and movies that talk about dental care steps, cavities, a first trip to the dentist and more. These can make learning about oral hygiene more fun and relaxed. Rent a few of these books about dental care from the local library. You can also watch videos online from time to time. While dental hygiene is important, ensure that you gradually expand on the knowledge that you share rather than immerse your child in tips, concepts and dangers that he or she may not be ready to learn about.
Go to a Pediatric Dentist
You may have a family dentist who you have been visiting for years, and you may be eager to bring your child to this dentist as soon as he or she is old enough. However, there may be advantages to taking your child to a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist specializes in the care of young patients. This dental office may be equipped with smaller chairs and equipment so that your child feels more comfortable. The office may be decorated in a fun, friendly way to ease concerns and to make your child feel more relaxed. The staff may be trained to work with children who may have fears, and they may also be more open to educating children about proper oral hygiene in a way that they can understand. After your child gets a little older and has developed good oral health habits, you may consider transferring your child’s dental records to your family dentist.
Oral hygiene is an area where many adults could improve in, and their habits may have at least partially been learned and developed as a child. To ensure that your child grows up to have wonderful dental care habits, you need to have a focused plan in this area. Avoid simply telling your child to brush his or her teeth and walking away. Each of these tips can play a critical role in teaching your child about good oral hygiene. Remember that it is never too late to backtrack with older children as well.