Teaching your child how to maintain proper oral hygiene can be a tricky process. However, it's important that you develop good habits in your child at a very early age to ensure the habits stick with them for a lifetime. Many parents find instilling these positive habits in their child difficult, so to help you with this, below are three tips to get you started:
Lead By Example
The best way to get your child into a great oral hygiene routine is to show them how it's done. This doesn't mean simply teaching your child how to brush their teeth; rather, they should see you practicing proper dental hygiene on a day-to-day basis. When your child is young, their minds will be extremely susceptible to influence, so if you lead by example, it's only natural that they will follow suit.
It's important that you let your child see your daily routine, which means brushing day and night and remembering to floss properly. You should get into the habit of reminding your child when it's time to brush and letting them see you carry out your daily routine before having a go themselves. Over time, your child will adopt your dental routine as their own and will be able to continue this practice as they grow older.
Engage Their Imagination
One of the quickest ways to lose your child's attention is to lecture them on a dry topic, such as how to look after their teeth. Whilst it is crucial that you get the message across, it's important you do it in such a way that your child enjoys learning about dental hygiene and is enthusiastic when it comes to brushing their teeth. Not only will this help them retain the information, but it will also make them keep up their daily routine as they will not view it as a chore.
A great way to keep your child's mind engaged is to excite their imagination. Children have active imaginations that are extremely susceptible to imagery, so try incorporate this wherever possible. One way to do this is to let their artistic flair run wild by printing off pictures of large, smiling faces and coloring the teeth yellow or orange. Then, let your child paint over the discolored teeth whilst explaining to them how brushing their own teeth will stop this discoloration from happening to them.
Use Child-specific Products
To keep your kid enthusiastic about dental hygiene, it's best to give them child-specific products to carry out their daily routine. These products have been created entirely with children in mind and so are tailored entirely to your child's needs. Also, if your child's motor skills haven't yet fully developed, these products will make the whole process of dental care much easier for your child.
There are a range of toothpastes, mouthwashes and floss products available on the market that can help make the dental hygiene process easier on your children. However, one of the best products you can buy for your child is an electric toothbrush. These toothbrushes aren't just popular because of their novelty appeal, but the circular motion of the brush ensures your child's teeth receive a thorough cleaning. Once your child learns how to brush safely and effectively, you can move them onto a regular toothbrush to give them great control over the pressure on their gums.
When teaching your child proper oral hygiene, it's critical that you reinforce the importance of visiting a dentist. To make sure your child is familiar with the dentist's office, contact your local pediatric dentist clinic, such as Kids First Pediatric Dentistry, to arrange a check-up appointment for your son or daughter.