After an entire month filled with boxes of chocolates and candy hearts, it’s no surprise the American Dental Association dubbed February the National Children’s Dental Health Month. Perhaps it’s because once the glory of the amazing Valentine’s Day sweetness wears off; you no longer need to be a child to know how not-so-delicious those pieces of chocolate and candies were for your teeth.
You don’t have to wait until it’s February to teach your children healthy dental care habits. A professional Burnaby dentist shares some of the best ways you can inspire your children for healthy dental habits.
1. Show them how it’s done
Probably you may have heard the belief that the best way to teach your child is by your own example. Your toddler should actually see you brush at least twice a day and floss daily. If you always brush your teeth before your kid wakes up in the morning or after he or she goes to bed, then, you should alter your routine so that they can learn from your habits.
In fact, a more inspiring way of teaching your children healthy dental care habits is perhaps letting them help you brush your teeth and also help them brush theirs! After all, it’s fair game. You can go step further and get YouTube videos of kids the same age as yours brushing and let your child watch the videos. Keep in mind that children love peers to relate with as they learn a new skill.
2. Consider making it a story time
While watching you take care of your teeth is a perfect start, there may be nothing a little effective than to bribe your kid into doing what’s required. Consider using the toothbrushing sessions to tell a good story. Get a bit creative. Make up a story that features mythical characters such as the knight (toothbrush) and the goblins (plaque) in a struggle in the dragon’s cave (the kid’s mouth). Remember, the kid has to keep the mouth open so that you can witness what’s going on with the knight and the goblins in your story. This way, you can brush the kid’s teeth, and they will continue learning the habit.
Listening or singing to an interesting tooth brushing song is a perfect idea too. Or you can take the show to your living room and have the kids brush their teeth as they watch their favorite DVD.
3. Probably go high tech
Purchasing tooth care products that look more of toys is a great idea too. The number one thing that most parents and pediatric dentist rave about in helping their children learn and practice great dental hygiene is the electric toothbrush. It can make the entire tooth brushing process fun, fast, and easy and such a toothbrush is gentle on the kid’s gums.
4. Leverage the gross-out factor
Visuals may be your best friend when it comes to encouraging children to keep their teeth clean. Even older kids will be impressed when watching videos of people brushing teeth. You can also use plaque disclosing products such as mouth rinse and chewable tablets to highlight sections of build-up that they may have missed when brushing.
5. Mum’s little helper
If your kid is too young to do a good job of brushing her own teeth and isn’t willing to let you do it, then, that’s okay. You can get a third person to perform the odious task. And that would be your trusty sock puppet. Consider decorating a sock to be the dentist character and then have the fictional dentist brush and floss the kid’s teeth!
Helping your child learn and uphold healthy dental care habits can go a long way in helping them have healthy teeth for as long as possible. The secret is to start early. You already know your kid’s first dental visit should be before their first birthday, but the brushing and flossing can start early.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is the freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.