The earlier you begin teaching your kids about dental hygiene, the earlier they will create habits to maintain good oral health. These habits will help them maintain a healthy smile by avoiding cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis. To help you in this process, we have compiled our top tips for teaching kids dental hygiene.
Begin Teaching Early
Habits don’t develop overnight. They take time and consistency, which is why it’s crucial to introduce your child to dental hygiene from an early age. From the time of infancy, brush your child’s teeth regularly. As they get older, help them transition into using a toothbrush on their own. Flossing should also be taught, and you can begin flossing your child’s teeth as early as 4 years old.
Be a Good Example
Children learn by example and will mirror the habits you personally demonstrate. This means that you must practice what you preach and engage the whole family in consistent brushing and flossing. Kids learn the best from watching mom and dad, so make sure that you’re intentionally teaching dental hygiene through your positive example.
Teach the Basics
All the core facets of good dental hygiene should be taught early. This means talking about and practicing the following at home:
- Brushing teeth twice a day
- Flossing everyday
- Eating healthy foods and drinks; consuming starch and sugar in moderation
- Visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups
Make It Fun
Children respond better to things that are fun, that’s a no-brainer. But making dental hygiene fun can be tricky. Some things you could try include:
- Get them a toothbrush with their favorite movie character
- Make flossing and brushing a game
- Offer rewards or incentives that will motivate and excite them
Now is the time to jump in and teach your kids the habits they will need to keep their teeth healthy. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment for your child to see Dr. Cody, give us a call! We look forward to working with you and getting to know your child.