If your kids are getting in the habit of ramping up their oral care routine a week or two before they visit the dentist, this needs to be made more of a consistent priority. Oral health care is such an important part of one's life, and good habits must be instilled early. Here are four tips to foster your kids' regular dental habits between visits to the dentist.
1. Having Cleaning Tools Available
Keeping floss and toothbrushes available in more areas than just the bathroom will help your kids follow through with regular dental upkeep. Purchase travel toothbrushes and flossing sticks that kids can carry with them to school. Have floss in their room and in the car in case the mood strikes. Have toothbrushes in various bathrooms and keep one at their best friend's home so there are no excuses.
2. Focus on Diet
If your home is full of sugary snacks and drinks, it might be time to reevaluate your family's diet and understand how this can affect your child's teeth and gums over time. This will have to be a consistent effort made by everyone in the home. It won't be fair if Dad is allowed to drink soda but the kids can't. Making healthy dietary changes as a family when it comes to sugary beverages and foods can help with healthy teeth for everyone.
3. Have the Dentist Talk With Your Child
Sometimes the dentist and oral hygienist can remind kids what they are supposed to do, but then gloss over the 'why'. If you can source a family dentist that works well with kids, they will be more apt to take the time to answer your child's questions. Your dentist should be able to explain why continued dental health is so important in a way that your child can understand.
4. Reward Kids for A+ Dental Visits
If you have been working hard with your child to get their brushing and flossing up to speed and working on dietary changes in your home, the moment of truth will be at their next dental appointment. Make sure that the dentist and dental hygienist use positive reinforcement and congratulate your child for brushing and flossing. Reward your child with a toy or promise of a fun activity for a job well done.
Dentists and parents need to work together to help kids get with the program when it comes to their dental routine. Anything that you can do to encourage good dental habits early on will lead your child to make this a priority for the rest of their life. Play an active role in monitoring your child's dental care routine so that they can be proud of their progress at the dentist's office.
Contact a center like Eden Prairie Dental Care for more help.