Healthy dental habits should start early. In fact, getting your child to feel excited about dentist visits and brushing their teeth will help establish those great habits for a lifetime. Here are a few of the best ways to help your kids develop healthy dental habits:
1. Keep them from developing a thumb-sucking habit.
Yes, we understand. Sometimes, when thumb-sucking is the only thing that will keep a child quiet, we parents are tempted to shut our eyes. Only every once in a while, right? However, you will make things far more difficult for yourself and your child if you allow a habit to form. Plus, by the time the child is a little older and thumb-sucking is not acceptable anymore, the damage to their teeth is often already done. Feel free to ask your dentist for other healthy solutions for the thumb-sucking problem!
2. Show them how to brush their teeth well.
Teaching children to brush their teeth can be one of the most difficult and hilarious things in the world. It is also a very important skill to teach early on! Once your child is old enough to brush their own teeth on a regular basis, make sure you show them how to brush correctly.
In other words, make sure they aren’t missing any teeth when they brush. You may want to consider taping a chart onto your bathroom mirror so your child can visualize what they are supposed to do. Also, make sure they are brushing twice a day and for the appropriate length of time. Once they develop this important habit, it will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
3. Encourage them to stay away from sugary drinks.
Besides the fact that too much sugar is not very good for your child’s health, soda can be extremely harmful to their teeth. It eats away the protective enamel on teeth like rust eats away metal. Either don’t allow soda at all or make it an occasional treat. Be honest with them, and tell them your concerns. Help your kids build the habit of being health-conscious and taking care of their teeth. They will thank you for it later!
4. Teach them to be careful with hard candy (and any candy!).
Once again, there is more than one reason to do this. Limiting your child’s sugar spikes is extremely beneficial to their overall health and your overall sanity! It is okay to allow your children to have candy in judicious amounts. But be especially careful of hard candy. If your children are very young, definitely do not hand them sucking candy! Often, children will mistakenly try to chew it, damaging their teeth in the process! So keep a close eye on what candy your child is eating – and make sure they brush well afterward.
5. Help them create a habit of visiting a dentist regularly.
As we have said before, once you develop a habit in your child, it will most likely continue later in their lives! We understand that some children will only go into a dentist’s office kicking and screaming. Thankfully, however, we have specialists who know how to help children feel at ease. By scheduling your child regular dentist appointments, you show them how important it is to take good care of their teeth. And this will serve them well down the road.
6. Tell them you love their smile.
Here at Simply Beautiful, we are all about the beauty of a smile. We love to see people happy! And we love to see people with a smile they can be proud of. We do not want any child (or adult, for that matter) to feel insecure about their smile. So maybe on your way to or from your child’s dentist appointment, take a moment to remind your child of his or her unique beauty. Tell them you care about their dental health because you love to see them smile. You will really love to see the smile they give you then.
For more information, feel free to contact us. We are here to keep you and your child smiling all day long!