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Positively Influence Your Child’s Oral Hygiene Habits
It is best to learn oral hygiene at a young age. Tooth decay is the most prevalent condition among children. According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 2018, 43 percent of children in the U.S. have cavities. Parents have an essential role to play in positively influencing their children’s oral hygiene habits.
Improving your child’s oral hygiene habits
Make your child brush for up to two minutes
The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that people should spend two minutes on brushing. To make it easy, have your child’s favorite music play or download a tooth-brushing app to make your children brush for the advised two minutes. You can also buy children’s electric toothbrushes equipped with a two-minute timer with lights and sounds.
Set a good example
Most habits start at home. Studies have shown that when kids see other family members brushing their teeth, they will be drawn to brushing too. Therefore, let your children watch you brush and floss your teeth. Do not forget that you also have to practice excellent diet choices and use positive words when describing your dental appointments. Your kids are watching your behavior, and that will shape their outlook on dental care.
You can begin lessons on brushing techniques when your child is 2 or 3 years old. Be sure to use a small-sized, soft-bristle toothbrush and small-sized quantity of fluoride toothpaste. If your children decide to brush on their own, ensure you brush for them again when they are done. This will make sure their teeth are properly clean. Once your child reaches age 6, they should have learned enough to brush themselves confidently. That said, keep monitoring their brushing skills.
Shop with them
Let your children choose their toothpaste and toothbrushes. This will let them feel more responsible for their oral health. There are many products designed specifically for children, so your child will have a blast choosing the different options. However, be sure to check that the bristles are soft and that the toothpaste is ADA approved.
Make dental self-care worthwhile
Your children may not see a reason to care about dental hygiene. They may not be excited about the idea of the long-term benefits like having strong teeth to chew meat at old age. A better reward would be to give them a sticker or star on a chart every time they brush. You can also positively reinforce your children by telling them how fresh their breath smells when saying good morning or good night.
Make regular dental visits
Your child should start going for regular dental appointments once they turn 1. Building positive experiences early in life will help your child understand that the dental office is a pleasant place to go.
Create a lasting impression
Playing a role in your child’s oral hygiene habits early in life usually leads to a higher chance of them growing into adulthood with healthy teeth. Call our office to learn more about dental care when it comes to your children.
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