Good oral health practices begin in childhood, so you need to teach your little one how to take care of their teeth. Even temporary teeth need to be taken care of; if the child doesn’t learn how to care about their teeth when they are small, they won’t be able to care for their permanent teeth in adulthood. Here are the most important oral hygiene habits your child needs to embrace.
Talk about the importance of brushing
When you teach your kids to brush their teeth twice a day you need to explain them why they need to do it. It’s important for them to understand what happens when they don’t brush, so talk to them about tooth decay, plaque and other dental illness. However, you need to adjust the explanation to their age. A six year old is not likely to understand what plaque is, but they will understand if you say germs gather on their teeth and brushing removes them.
Make brushing a fun moment
For a child brushing might seem like a long time, so you have to make it fun for them. Sing a song or play the child’s favorite song while they brush, to engage them in the activity. Small kids can also be attracted by colorful toothbrushes or those with built-in lights.
Befriend your dentist
Your child should be used to regular visits to the dentist. Adults should visit the dentist once every six months and the same is valid for kids. Unless your specialist in pediatric dentistry advises you something else, take your child to the clinic on regular basis and teach them not to be scared of their doctor. Most dental pediatricians have special treats to give to their patients and they know how to befriend them.
Lead by example
If you tell your child they need to brush twice a day and they see you brushing once a day, chances are they will follow your lead. At the same time, they will follow you in good behaviors too, so make sure you also brush twice a day and you keep up with your regular visits at the dentist.
Teach your child the importance of healthy eating
Brushing and regular check-ups are only part of a healthy oral hygiene routine; the other part is healthy eating. A diet rich in sugar will lead to tooth decay, so your child needs to understand what damages their teeth, in order to avoid those foods. Teach your little one how to do healthy choices, but make sure you present them tasty alternatives. A child is likely to prefer a piece of chocolate, instead of a healthy fruit, even if they know chocolate may lead to cavities.
If you start teaching your child about the importance of oral health at a young age, they will grow up with healthy teeth. When their permanent teeth will grow, they will know how to keep them in good shape for as long as possible.