When it comes to dental hygiene, building up good habits early in life can make a huge difference. It can sometimes be hard for parents to help their child understand when all they are interested in is the sparkly flavored tooth paste, but there are several ways to teach a child how important proper dental hygiene really is.
Make a Visual
The best way to teach a child about the consequences of poor dental hygiene is to make it real. It is good to tell them what can happen, but even better to show them. Print off some pictures at home of some individuals and their results after not taking care of their teeth. Once a child sees what could happen, they will work even harder to make sure that it does not.
Create a Practice Dummy
The best thing parents can do for their kids is to make something boring into something fun. No child really likes to brush their teeth, but if they can see it with a new set of eyes then it can become something a lot more enjoyable. Purchase a puppet with a large mouth and use cardboard for giant teeth in order to create a “practice dummy” and have the kids practice brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning. If they can have fun cleaning their dummy’s teeth, it will make cleaning their own teeth a lot more enjoyable.
Teach Proper Eating Habits
Good dental hygiene does not stop with brushing twice a day. What a child eats can play a huge role in how their teeth turn out. Try and instill knowledge about foods such as apples, cheese, milk and vegetables that assist with cleaning and strengthening teeth. This does not mean that a child can never touch a piece of candy, but help them practice good habits with that as well by teaching them to swish some water in their mouth after meals or floss at night. If a child can be trained from the beginning, they will be more likely to continue those habits throughout their life.
Establish a Connection
Good dental habits can seem a little pointless to a child, but if they are connected with other things then they will make a lot more sense. Try and help them understand how good habits will help with avoiding bad breath, losing teeth or having cavities. It is also a good idea to establish a relationship between a child and their dentist so they feel like they can trust their doctor and also desire to impress them. If a child has a purpose behind why they take care of their teeth, it can make them work that much harder.
Proper dental hygiene is just as important for children as it is for adults. So, help them start early and establish positive dental habits sooner rather than later. The importance of good dental hygiene cannot be underestimated.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver and often writes about family, health, home and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. Informational credit to Eastgate Dental Centre.