Maintaining good dental health will be essential to your child’s well-being, allowing you to eliminate common oral issues that often plague kids well into adulthood. With this in mind, dental care should start as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the proper dental hygiene. Below are a few tips for your at-home dental care.
Introduce Healthy Foods to Your Diet
A healthy diet will be the first tip for your parenting hack, helping your child adapt to good dental habits. Processed foods and carbonated drinks contain a large amount of sugar that could prove disastrous for your child’s teeth, paving the way for problems such as tooth abscess. Try replacing unhealthy foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, with whole grains also acting as suitable replacements. This will be a handy tip for eliminating untreated tooth decay that affects about 1 to 5 children or roughly 20% of children in the 5-11 age gap. Water and homemade fruit juices will also be ideal for setting up your children with healthy eating habits, allowing them to stick to these tips when they get older.
Make Dental Care Fun
Children are likely to adapt to fun and playful routines, making this another essential part of your parenting dental care hack. Consider integrating fun elements into your practices, with ideal options being toothbrushes with their favorite cartoon characters, electric toothbrushes with built-in music, or uniquely shaped toothbrushes. In addition to this, you can also play your child’s favorite music during brushing, with songs lasting two minutes or more, allowing you to stick to the recommended time.
For the best dental care routine, make it a point to first master brushing before proceeding to floss. Once your child can comfortably complete the first routine, flossing will be easier, making it possible to pay attention to both with the proper care. If you are unfamiliar with flossing, a simple search will come in handy for this, with an estimated 92.3% of smartphone users using their mobile devices for quick online guides. Consider using child-friendly oral care products, as some children may not like the taste of most minted toothpaste. Lastly, consider replacing your child’s toothbrush every three months to allow them to get the most from their oral care.
Be a Good Role Model
Children learn by observation, with good parenting often setting the pace for either poor or excellent habits. With this in mind, lead by example and develop a consistent approach to brushing and flossing. Allow your kids to observe and let them try it by themselves. Younger kids will need help during the initial stages, with minimal assistance required once they get a handle on their routine. Additionally, make it a point to explain the importance of good dental care. This will allow them to implement the habits even when you are not around, improving their dental hygiene as they age.
Make Dentist Visits Fun
Dental visits can sometimes prove frightening for children, with most put off due to the unfamiliar faces and complex gadgets. To counter this, make your appointments family-centered to ensure that they feel less apprehensive. Your presence makes it easier for check-ups, allowing your dental professionals to have an even easier time tending to them. Normalize dental appointments from an early age, with experts suggesting having regular visits immediately after your child gets to their first birthday. This allows your child to view their appointments as normal routines, making it easier to dispel any fear of future visits.
Rewards are good incentives to motivate your children to practice good dental care. Star charts will be an excellent example, with morning and nighttime stars rewarded every time your toddler brushes their teeth. Prizes can also act as other incentives, with stuffed animals and fun bedtime books being other ideas to consider using based on your child’s interests.
Oral health will be a new phenomenon for your children, which is why guiding them through the initial stages of dental care will be essential. Make it a point to be a role model, show them the right way to implement their routines, introduce fun and child-friendly habits, and offer incentives to help them stick to their dental practices. Lastly, consider demystifying any myths associated with dental appointments from an early age to set them up for future successful habits. If you’re looking for a great dental health insurance plan for your family, check out this Bridgespan health insurance reviews & complaints article!