February is the time we celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month, and there is no better time to relay to our children the importance of taking good care of their beautiful smiles. With studies now showing that the health of our mouth is intimately connected to our overall well-being, establishing good oral hygiene habits is essential to stave off disease and decay, especially when taught early.
Most children are not naturally excited about consistently practicing good hygiene habits at home; parents must find ways to make the process of oral health education and hygiene practice fun, comfortable, and accessible to them. Here are some helpful tips for making dental hygiene enjoyable for your young ones.
Model Healthy Hygiene Routines
Parents who consistently model good oral hygiene routines will inspire their children to do the same. Merely demonstrating the enjoyment of your habits of brushing, flossing, and making regular trips to your dental care professional will send a message of importance to your child. Having conversations with your child about why you are choosing to prioritize your oral health will help shape their beliefs and priorities regarding the role they play in their self-care. Start early, model cheerfully, and have fun with the process.
Educate Your Children On The Health Benefits Of Good Oral Hygiene
There is a wealth of information out there on the importance of setting up a good oral hygiene routine, and parents have the exciting opportunity to engage their children in the education process creatively. Fun and informative video clips, simple songs, creative art projects that encourage good hygiene habits, and even tooth stains such as the Butler G-U-M Red-cote Dental Disclosing Tablets can make the process of learning to care for their teeth exciting and fun. Besides, finding ways to involve children in the process of picking out a favorite toothpaste and toothbrush, or setting up an incentive chart to track their progress will be instrumental in allowing them to feel pride and ownership in setting up their self-care habits.
Practice - Practice - Practice!
Children that are just beginning to learn self-care are by no means proficient in brushing and flossing. Setting up a good oral hygiene routine takes time, consistency, and, most importantly, practice. Scheduling brushing times, monitoring dexterity during the exercises, offering assistance, praising children for sticking to routines and showing improvement are all ways to promote healthy habit formation at home. In some cases, providing incentives for reaching essential goals and milestones is useful as well, especially if your young ones are resistant to learning these new routines. Practice may not make perfect, but it does ensure progress.
Emphasize the Role That Proper Nutrition Plays In Oral Health
Following a healthy diet rich in whole, low sugar foods are also vital toward the goal of maintaining good oral health. Teaching your children to love these nutrient-rich foods will set them up for success and steer them farther away from foods that have a harmful effect on teeth and health in general. Avoiding sugary and sticky snacks will aid in keeping clean and plaque free. Teaching children to make healthy food choices can be a fun and enjoyable process. Allowing children to make decisions when selecting healthy snack foods and learning to cook alongside you will give them some ownership in determining how to stay healthy.
Of course, parents, modelling healthy cooking and eating choices is essential in getting your brood to follow you. Steering clear of sugary foods, highly acidic beverages and sodas will allow you to set a healthy example for your children to follow. These habits will benefit not only you but your children for years to come.
Any habits that you work hard to establish in your house should be extended far beyond Children's Dental Health Month. The objective of all of that hard work on your part should be to educate your children on the basics of caring for their teeth. It is also essential that they understand why maintaining consistency is beneficial to their long-term health. Set goals as a family and celebrate successes as you travel the path to better health and wellness.
Dr. Krueger and his talented team of associates are your partners in establishing good dental habits at home and in the office. They are passionate about educating their patients on the basics of dental care, the importance of regular check-ups, and how to proactively care for their teeth. Contact them today to take the first step in actively managing you and your children's dental health. Visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com for more information and to make an appointment. A more beautiful smile is in your children's future!