Encouraging Healthy Dental Habits for Children

On the list of things children find enjoyable, brushing and flossing teeth are not listed. However, helping your child develop healthy dental habits during adolescence will help them build the foundation for healthy baby teeth later on. To help you out, we offer five dental tips for parentson how to encourage teeth brushing. For more information, you may want to consult with your child’s Naples pediatric dentist.

Sing Songs

Children respond well to songs, which is why you may want to pay attention to which ones they enjoy most. Does your child like to sing along with their favorite show’s theme song? Have they learned a new song at school? If so, you may want to incorporate this song into your child’s oral hygiene routine. If your child doesn’t brush their teeth long enough, singing can be a sneaky way to get them to brush more thoroughly. Encourage them to keep brushing until you finish the song.

Let Them Pick

The next time you’re at the grocery store with your child, let them pick out their favorite toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes come in a wide variety of colors and usually feature popular cartoon characters. Letting your child pick out their own toothbrush can be a great way to get them to view teeth brushing time in a positive light. After all, how bad can teeth brushing be if you’re able to use a pink Disney princess toothbrush?

Set an Example

During the early years of their life, your child will look to you to learn what is expected of them. If they are able to watch you brush your teeth, they will learn that they will be expected to brush their own teeth. If it helps, you may want to consider setting a routine where you and your child brush your teeth together. Make sure you never treat teeth brushing as a chore, but rather as an important part of keeping a healthy smile. The more your child sees you brush your teeth, the more teeth brushing will be reinforced in their mind as a necessary part of life.

Use Your Imagination

Sometimes it can be difficult for children to see the consequences of their actions, which is why we encourage you to set aside some time to talk about cavities with your child. Your child should remember at least a little bit about cavities from their first visit with an experienced pediatric dentist.

During your conversation, try to frame cavities as the “bad guys” that your child must protect their teeth against. Afterwards, create an opportunity for your child to draw a picture of what they think cavities look like. Once your child is happy with their drawing, be sure to hang it up in the bathroom to serve as a reminder of what could happen if they don’t brush their teeth.

Practice Teeth Brushing

If your child is apprehensive about brushing their teeth, you might be able to relieve some of their anxiety by having them practice teeth brushing on one of their stuffed animals or dolls. Get your child involved in the process by asking questions like, “How does [Toy’s name] feel about getting their teeth brushed?” Once the child sees that brushing their teeth isn’t a big deal, they may be able to move past their fear and start healthy teeth habits for children their age. A knowledgeable family practice dentist should also be able to give you tips for how to encourage teeth brushing.

If you are interested in our pediatric dental services, please feel free to call our Naples family dental practice at (239) 591-3330. Dr. Vanessa Rashid DMD at The Modern Dentist is dedicated to helping her youngest patients develop good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.

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