How To Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits in Children
The summer is flying by, and while we savour its final moments many of us look forward to a fresh fall season. The new school year brings an opportunity to get organized and develop good habits from the start. Here are some tips to make sure you get on the right track and develop good dental habits for you and your children.
Consistency is Key
Developing good habits is all about making a healthy activity a pattern until it becomes second nature. The best way to make sure your children develop good habits early is to schedule brushing and flossing times twice daily, and stick to the same times of day regularly. If oral hygiene becomes a well-engrained part of every morning and nighttime routine for kids, it will make sure that it never gets skipped when life gets chaotic.
This also means that when you or your children are tired it’s important to never skip the routine – Doing so would jeopardize the consistency of your brushing and flossing pattern.
Set a Good Example
You’re the best role model for your kids. If you skip flossing when you’re tired, they will too. Remember that you’re setting up the routine for a reason and apply it in your own life as well.
It’s important to also be positive in how you approach oral hygiene. Many adults don’t realize how their comments impact the attitudes of their children. If you look at your own brushing and flossing as a hassle, your kids will pick up on it. Make a conscious effort to improve your own habits!
Make it Fun
Oral hygiene isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of fun, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity for kids! You can make it fun by injecting some excitement into your routine.
When you’re out getting school supplies for the new school year, take a detour and get your children to pick a new toothbrush featuring different colours or cartoon characters! This will make sure your family starts on the right foot this fall.
A major challenge is getting your kids to brush their teeth adequately and long enough. Pick a fun song with your children, and play it every time they brush their teeth. Make sure they brush their teeth the entire length of the tune. This will help kids keep track of time and add a fun element.
Give Kids an Oral Hygiene Goal
Praise your children for following their new oral health routine. Focusing on successes rather than failures is a good motivator, so never underestimate the power of positive feedback.
Get a fun chart and put stickers on a calendar at the end of each day after your child brushes and flosses. At the end of the week, give your kids a reward for a successful week of oral hygiene. Something as simple as letting them pick the board game on family game night or choosing the restaurant next time you dine out can add a fun incentive for kids. It also creates a positive and healthy association between oral hygiene and fun in your child’s mind. Plus, it’s enjoyable for the whole family!
The Benefits of Healthy Dental Habits
These tips will help your children develop lifelong habits early. Gum disease and tooth decay are highly preventable with proper flossing and brushing, so the best time to start your new routine is right now!
Don’t forget that regular dental checkups are also important for oral health. Schedule your next appointment today at Smile Dental Centre today!
The Smile Dental Centre offers a full range of dental services backed by outstanding patient care for children and adults. The Smile Dental Centre won the Consumer Choice Award five years in a row (2013 – 2017) for general and cosmetic dentistry in the London, ON region. Now that’s something to smile about!