How To Encourage Good Dental Hygiene In Kids

January 26, 2017
Orlando Smiles, Inc.
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Child Brushing Teeth in Orlando

You can encourage your kids to brush every morning and night, but sometimes enforcing good habits is easier said than done. Here are a few worthwhile tips to make dental hygiene a fun family event.

Start Early

Some parents falsely believe that caring for baby teeth is less important because those teeth are not permanent. However, healthy baby teeth help guide in the new adult teeth that will follow, and gum disease is an unpleasant possibility at even the youngest age. Many unprepared parents are left coping with the costly and uncomfortable visit to an emergency dentist in Orlando when a young child is suffering from cavities and early tooth decay.

The most important benefit of early brushing and flossing is the quickly learned habit. As your child grows, important dental hygiene care will be a matter of routine and habit, instead of an awkward new chore. Start your kids brushing with fluoride free toothpaste as soon as they are able to hold a toothbrush, and the habit will continue well into adulthood.          

Make It Fun

As with any part of your child’s day, brushing should be fun and interesting. Allow your kids to accompany you to the store and pick out their own toothbrush. If you find one with their favorite hero or cartoon character, the experience will be all the more worthwhile. Your Orlando dentist will happily recommend any number of excellent toothbrush brands that market their products specifically to children.

Remember that brushing needs to be done for 2 minutes, twice a day. To ensure this, make a game out brushing, or set some music to a timer while they brush. Some children’s electric toothbrushes automatically play music in order to encourage this habit. Anything you can do to make brushing more exciting and fun is beneficial to your children.      

Do It Together

Children are universally impressionable and have a natural desire to interact and be a part of the family. If you are brushing and flossing with enthusiasm, they will want to share in the fun. Make dental hygiene a family event that they can look forward to and enjoy. Just as sharing a family meal and dressing for school are part of heathy family structure, so too is oral hygiene.    

Reward

A practical technique for many healthy habits is to reward, reward, reward. Keep track on a calendar every day that your child successfully brushes and flosses and present them at the end of every week with a special treat like a new toy. Kids with siblings will enjoy a naturally competitive contest of seeing who keeps the best dental habits.

Be Consistent

No matter how tempting it may be to skip a few days here and there, you must be consistent in enforcing good habits. After all, it only becomes a habit when you do it all the time. Be patient, be encouraging, and do not let up or take excuses. Remember that a strict dental care can save you expensive visits to the dentist in Orlando. Persistently prompting your children to floss is more enjoyable than watching them have teeth pulled or cavities filled.