How to Instill Healthy Dental Habits in Children

Many adults find it hard to get themselves to the dentist. Getting children to go to their dental appointments willingly can be even more difficult. Oral health is vital to your overall health; the same applies to children’s oral health. Some people may think that because baby teeth aren’t permanent, it is okay not to have a good oral health routine, but that isn’t the case.

Baby teeth can be just as affected by tooth decay and gum disease as adult teeth. In fact, untreated cavities in children can damage their permanent teeth that have yet to break through the gums. In addition, cavities can lead to infection if left untreated, which can have the same consequences as adults. Infections can spread to other teeth, soft tissues, or even other parts of the body through the bloodstream. 

While children are young, it is essential to get them to the dentist, and having a proper oral health routine is necessary. It will make your life easier and set them up for success and good health in their adult lives. 

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Make It Fun

One way to get your children interested in taking care of their teeth is to make it fun for them. This can be as simple as getting them a fun animal-shaped toothbrush or related to their favorite cartoons. In addition, many grocery stores have a variety of toothbrushes that will interest children, so you might take them to pick out their favorite. 

Electric toothbrushes may be another good idea for children. Some toothbrushes have timers on them so that children know how long they are supposed to brush their teeth. Studies show that timers increase focus, which is beneficial for oral health. 

Lead By Example

A simple and effective technique for teaching your children is to lead by example. If you model a good oral health routine, your children will likely follow your lead. Many children learn by watching their guardians move throughout their day-to-day activities, and oral care is no different.

You might think about performing your daily oral care routine together. For example, as you floss, your children can learn to floss. As you brush your teeth, your children can brush their teeth. Not only will this help them to learn how to take care of their mouth, but it can also be a bonding experience for you. 

Start Good Habits Young

The sooner you can get your children to the dentist, the better off they will be. Therefore, dentists recommend that you bring your child to the dentist around their first birthday or when their first tooth comes in. This will allow your dentist to see if your child has any special dental needs and reduce your child’s overall anxiety about visiting the dentist. Plus, your dentist can show your child how to brush and floss their teeth. 

Habits created in childhood are more likely to last a lifetime. Children must establish a good oral care routine to develop their adult teeth properly.