You have probably seen your fair share of “how to teach your kids great dental habits” articles by now, but there are still way too many kids out there who are suffering the effects of poor oral health for these types of article to be moot. So get ready to read one more!
- Start Early
The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) suggests that you schedule your child’s first dental appointment when their first tooth appears and definitely no later than your child’s first birthday.
But even before your child’s first appointment—and before they have any teeth—the AAPD recommends that you gently brush your baby’s gum with a soft infant toothbrush and water twice a day. This action is the first step towards making brushing (and later brushing with toothpaste AND flossing) a habit.
- Make Brushing & Flossing Non-Negotiable
Sometime at the end of a long and tiring day (or at the beginning of a rushed and hectic morning!), the last thing you want to do is go through the hassle of a brushing and flossing routine with your kid. But it is vital that parents make brushing and flossing a priority in both the morning and the evening, without exception.
Try coupling brushing and flossing with another bedtime routine (i.e. encouraging your kids to brush and floss right after they change into pajamas).
- Practice What You Preach
You can use coloring books, cool/quirky tooth-themed snacks or other uber-creative methods—such as our new favorite dental app Brush DJ!—to spark an interest in dental hygiene (and you should!), but if your child never sees you brush or floss your teeth, you might end up running into some roadblocks down the line.
Have any incredible tricks up your sleeve that will inspire kids to take their oral health seriously? We would be thrilled to broadcast them on our social media channels to get the word out, so feel free to share them with us on our Facebook or Twitter page.