3 Tips for Improving Your Child’s Dental Habits

As parents, you want your children to be healthy, happy and strong. One crucial component of your child’s quality of life as they grow into adulthood begins with their dental habits. Proper dental care and oral hygiene play a major role in one’s overall health. In addition to regular visits to the dentist, it’s imperative that we help our kids learn how to properly care for their teeth. Access to kid-friendly dental care products has grown tremendously over the last few generations, giving parents some added help in getting their kids to brush. But fun flavors and sparkly brushes are only part of the equation. 

Our top three tips for improving your child’s dental habits are:

Start Early 

Babies and toddlers form implicit memories that last into adulthood. These aren’t specific or detailed memories, but rather emotional connections and automatic actions like tying shoes. Before their first tooth emerges, you should be cleaning your baby’s gums after feeding with a finger brush or damp, clean cloth. Not only does this fight the development of bacteria, it helps your child form an implicit memory around dental hygiene. They’ll become comfortable with the process and attuned to the habit of cleaning up after meals. Soon after their first tooth appears, it’s wise to bring them into the dentist so that they can start getting comfortable and familiar with visits. As your child grows up and more teeth come in, check in with your own dentist to make sure you’re brushing and flossing correctly and then model those actions for your kids. 

Make It an Experience

One of the reasons establishing good dental habits in children can be such a challenge is that it feels like a chore to them. Considering that most adults struggle to adequately brush and floss, this sentiment may be shared. By making dental care a fun experience for your kids, you help break the cycle of that thinking, setting them up for a lifetime practice of proper oral hygiene habits. Join your children for proper 2-minute tooth brushing sessions. Hype the experience as you head to the bathroom, set a timer and play their favorite song to rock out to. Create a sticker chart for dental care success so they can see how well they’re doing. Writing riddles or silly messages on the bathroom mirror can help keep your children engaged while they brush. Find ways to make morning, evening and after-meal brushing and flossing a valued and fun bonding time. 

Teach Your Kids to Eat Right 

Good dental habits don’t start with brushing and flossing, but rather with eating. More than half of kids have a poor diet, with too much added sugar, too little water and too few healthy foods. Adults fare only slightly better. This has a major impact on our teeth. The good news is that over the last 20 years, our national sugar addiction has started to wane and healthy, natural foods are becoming more and more accessible. Set your kids up for success with their oral health by teaching them to enjoy and prepare healthy, natural foods. Bring them into the kitchen and allow them to help prepare snacks and meals with fruits and vegetables. Skip the juice in favor of water when they’re little to help prevent them from developing a cavity-inviting sweet tooth. 

Protect Your Child’s Smile with Radiance Dental 

Dr. Cam-Tu and team will help your child learn proper methods for brushing and flossing, make cleanings and care comfortable and answer your questions and concerns about your child’s oral health. Radiance Dental is passionate about providing healthy smiles for the whole family. Set your child up for a lifetime of dental success and book an appointment with Radiance Dental today.