Good Oral Hygiene Habits For Parents To Teach Kids

Good Oral Hygiene Habits For Parents To Teach Kids
Posted on 08/13/2018

Passing Down The Gift Of A Healthy Smile

A healthy smile isn’t something that just runs in the family--maintaining good oral health and keeping your teeth protected against tooth decay is something that takes dedication. For parents that want their kids to have a radiant smile that lasts for the rest of their life, the best thing that you can do is teach your kids how to take care of their smile early on. This instills good habits that they can carry with them as they get older. The two big questions then are: “What oral hygiene habits should I be teaching my kids?” and “how do I get them to pick up on these habits?”. To answer both of those questions and help you build a future full of healthy smiles for your kids, your local Lynnwood, WA pediatric dental professionals here at Alderwood Children’s Dentistry are here with this guide to teaching your kids the habits they need to take great care of their smile. 

How To Get Kids To Pick Up Good Oral Health Habits

The best strategy for teaching your kids what they need to know about oral hygiene is leading by example and doing your best to make the experience fun. As their parent, kids naturally look up to you. They closely watch how you act and listen to what you say, absorbing all that information like a sponge. If they see you taking care of your own teeth at home but you seem inconvenienced or apathetic about it, they may start to think that caring for their own oral health is something that isn’t important or not enjoyable. It will also be more difficult to convince them to truly take you seriously when you tell them that caring for their smile is important when they see you not taking care of your own. 

As for making their oral hygiene experience fun, it helps to establish a positive connection to their oral hygiene routine and turns it into something they actually want to do. To accomplish this, parents can make things like brushing their teeth into a kind of game or competition, or building up positive reinforcement with a reward system for being consistent with their routine or being well-behaved at dentist appointments.  

A Regular Brushing & Flossing Routine

For anyone who wants to keep their smile healthy, a consistent brushing and flossing routine is a necessity, which makes it one of the most important habits for parents to teach their kids as soon as possible. To make sure that your kids have proper brushing and flossing technique, parents can get help from a pediatric dentist like Dr. Worton, who will be able to guide them on how to get their teeth perfectly clean every time. It’s recommended for everyone to brush their teeth at least 3 times each day for 2 minutes every time, and floss at least once. Do your best to get your kids used to taking a few minutes each day after their meals to brush their teeth and they’ll pick up the habit in no time. 

Choosing Healthier Food Options

There’s no denying that kids love junk food and candy, but what they don’t realize is that those snacks pose a serious threat to the health of their smile. Unfortunately, simply telling your kids that those foods are bad for them won’t stop them from snacking on them, but there are other things you can do. The first is making sure that they get enough healthy food in their diet. There are even some foods that can strengthen their smiles, such as dairy, leafy greens, or foods rich in fiber. The second thing you can do is take your kids to their pediatric dentist, who will be able to show them what happens to their teeth if they have too many sugary snacks or drinks and let their teeth be affected by tooth decay. 

Drinking More Water

If your kids get used to drinking sugary drinks like juice or soda, it can be difficult to convince them to drink that glass of water instead. Parent’s should try to get their kids used to drinking water regularly, since it will help keep their smile clean, along with keeping the rest of their body healthy too. While it may be difficult to see it in action, drinking water actually clears away loose bacteria and food particles that are resting on the surface of the teeth or around the mouth, which can reduce the risk of tooth decay. If you’re packing your kids their lunch for school, put a small bottle of water instead of that sugary juice pouch! 

Going To Visit The Dentist

Your kids should be visiting the dentist at least twice each year for a regular checkup and cleaning to ensure that their smile is free of harmful plaque and doesn’t show any early signs of developing dental problems. The main tip for parents here is to make sure that you bring your kids to those appointments, since canceling or missing the appointments will send the message to your kids that they’re not important. The same goes for parents attending their own dental appointments, as not taking care of your own smile will make your kids think that they should do the same. 

Contact Us For More Oral Hygiene Tips!

For more tips on how you can ensure your kids have a healthy smile for life by teaching them good oral hygiene habits, or to schedule an appointment for their next dental checkup, just contact us at Alderwood Children’s Dentistry. A member of our staff will be more than happy to assist you or answer questions that you may have. For years, Dr. Worton and our team have been providing superior pediatric dental care to the families of the Lynnwood, WA community.  We look forward to seeing you and your kids in our office soon so we can provide the quality care you deserve!