By establishing a proper oral health routine at a young age, children can more easily maintain a healthy smile throughout adolescence and adulthood. The following will outline ways to introduce these healthy habits.
Introduce Healthy Habits Early
It is recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) that children should see a dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth has erupted- whichever occurs first. This will allow your child to establish professional dental care as a part of their optimal oral healthcare routine. Visiting the dentist should be an enjoyable experience for your child. Creating early positive dental experiences can reduce the likelihood of your child suffering from dental phobia (odontophobia) later in life.
In addition to modeling the importance of professional oral healthcare to your children, it’s important to show proper at-home habits. Brushing and flossing in front of your child will show them it’s a normal, daily activity. Teaching your child about the consequences of inadequate home care can also help to motivate the adoption of healthy oral hygiene habits.
Make Proper Oral Hygiene Habits Fun
Celebrate the eruption of your child’s new teeth. Take a special trip to the store with your child to pick out their first toothbrush. Get them excited about keeping their teeth healthy.
Do your best to make brushing fun by playing a special song while your child is brushing. Getting your child to look forward to this time together can make this seemingly mundane task into a celebrated daily activity.
If brushing is simply not fun for your child, consider rewarding or celebrating your child for partaking in the behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. If your child is motivated by stickers or points on a rewards chart, be sure to include brushing as one of the good deeds celebrated.
Establishing healthy oral health habits in children is vital to their overall health. Whether at-home care is a game, special time together or a chore to check off the list, make sure your child is receiving proper oral hygiene care at home from a young age to prevent further intervention later.
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If you’d like to meet our team for an enjoyable pediatric dental experience for your child, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re confident you and your child will love our compassionate, fun environment.