Most parents want their children to have good dental habits, but they aren’t exactly sure about how to build those dental habits. The reality is that no matter how much you strive to find the best dental care for your children possible, if they aren’t taking care of their teeth at home, your dentist will be stuck cleaning up their messes. Quite often, children’s good dental habits decrease as they get older; a 2019 survey revealed that 30% of parents of three-year-old children reported that their children had excellent oral health, while 14% of parents with children aged 10 to 12 said the same.
But you don’t have to accept this. Let’s find out how you can ensure that your children get the best dental care at home, not just at the dentist’s office.
1. Offer Rewards
Many young children are driven by positive reinforcement — this is to say, rewards. Consider starting a chart for your child in which you add a checkmark or maybe a fun sticker every time they brush their teeth the way they’re supposed to. You may want to add flossing to the list as well. Once your child gets a certain amount of checks or stickers for each week, you can give them a small prize, like perhaps a little toy or a new binder for school.
2. Have Them Talk to Their Dentist
Get your children involved in building good dental habits. If your dentist is willing, perhaps arrange for them to have a little chat with your children about the importance of good dental habits during their next appointments. Kids often take advice coming from people other than their parents a bit more seriously, and if your dentist is honest about the risks of poor dental habits, they might be pushed into listening more closely.
3. Build Routines
Children thrive when subscribing to routines, and they’re often able to give themselves the best dental care if you establish those routines. Train your children to brush their teeth first when they get out of bed, and floss after every meal at home. You might have to be a little strict at first, but this will ultimately be well worth it.
Contact Your Trusted Family Dentist
When in doubt, ask your dentist! Family dentists often have great advice for parents as they teach their kids about dental hygiene. To schedule an appointment, call us at (919) 552-2431 or fill out our appointment request form.