How to Teach Your Children Proper Dental Hygiene Habits

To ensure your child’s smile lasts a lifetime, it’s important to instill good dental hygiene habits in them from a very young age. But it’s not always easy to get children to adopt a new habit; especially a habit they may consider a chore. The following guide offers 5 suggestions for teaching children proper dental hygiene habits.

Make a good example. Small children often mimic their parents’ move, action or gesture. Letting your child brush their teeth when you brush yours will show them you believe it’s important. Brushing can become a ritual you share that is repeated each morning and evening.

Establish good habits. This means allowing your child to brush their teeth when you do and making sure they understand the importance of brushing and flossing after meals. Some families have basic chore charts that include regular daily hygiene practices. This shows children how to mark each activity and helps them see their progress.

Do experiments. Use experiments to reinforce what brushing does for your teeth. Soaking eggs in a brown carbonated soda until they turn brown then brushing them with toothpaste to remove the stains is a good example. This shows children how stains appear on teeth and also how brushing removes them.

Teach skills hands on. Don’t just rely on the dentist or videos to teach children proper brushing and flossing techniques. Show them hands on. Demonstrate each technique and encourage them to use the techniques each time they brush.

Play games and put together puzzles. Older children who have mastered the techniques often get bored with the practice. Continuing to teach them about good oral hygiene will help them understand why brushing and flossing is so important. Word puzzles and games will help reinforce the meaning of words used by the dentist and act as an occasional reminder to keep teens interested in taking care of their teeth.

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