Oral health is regarded as an important dimension to a person’s wellbeing as it has an impact on one’s overall health. If left unchecked, not only can you anticipate cavities and toothaches that may severely reduce one’s appetite but you can also develop diseases that would need severe treatment.
Caring for one’s oral health is imperative but it’d be a bigger challenge to foster its significance to younger people most especially to your own kids. It’s one of your responsibilities as an adult to guide them along their oral care journey by teaching them what they should do to ensure that they have a healthy set of teeth and gums. While you can always bring them to the dentist and allow certified professionals to do the work, learning is said to the most effective if it starts from home.
Moreover, listed below are the tips on how you can teach oral care to children:
- Have A Family Dentist
It’s said that everybody’s well familiar with plenty of horror stories about dentists doing terrible things to their patients to make them feel pain. While they’re just wildly exaggerated and made-up tales, children will most likely believe anything they hear especially when it elicits fear in their hearts.
To allow your children to be comfortable with visiting a dentist, you should consider getting a family dentist first. Trained in dealing with a whole variety of cases, family dentists can also specialize in handling children with extreme dentist phobias.
One way of extinguishing fear in your child is to be the first person to sit on the dental chair and let them watch the whole process. In this way, they can observe what’s happening and prove to them that everything’s alright and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Set an example of how a dentist performs their duties safely for everyone.
Ideally, you should look for a family dentist near your area, so you don’t have to worry about having a hard time reaching them out during dental emergencies. You can read more articles online and see the benefits of having a family dentist not only for your children but also for other members of the household.
- Create A Brushing Schedule
Experts agree that the recommended times a person should brush their pearly whites should be twice a day—one during the morning and one before bedtime. If you have enough time on your hands, you can give it another go. Ensure that you use the right amount of prescribed fluoride toothpaste in your brush.
Allow your children to brush their teeth regularly by crafting a brushing schedule they need to accomplish daily. With this, they can’t skip out one session. You can provide a timetable on the bathroom door, so they can see if it’s time to brush their teeth under your guided supervision at first. Ideally, you should be the only one who can put any marks on the report of their individual accomplishments to monitor their progress.
If your children are big enough, you should also encourage them to floss their teeth after rinsing their mouths so they can get a thorough clean.
- Demonstrate The Right Way Of Brushing
Proper brushing of teeth isn’t just about doing random movements inside your mouth. You have to be thorough with it and ensure that you reach every corner of your mouth to get rid of the dirt that may eventually lead to plaque build-up and bacteria.
It’s said that one of the best ways for your children to learn the proper way of maintaining their oral health is through a visual demonstration.
Ideally, you should brush your teeth with your children and show them the proper and appropriate method while they’re watching you. All you have to do is to motivate them to follow your lead and they should be fine. As you brush your teeth in front of your kids, try to dictate and describe everything you do – from the motions involved down to the different areas of the mouth that require special attention.
For your younger children, you can make it more engaging by using a song about oral hygiene. It’s believed that it may help them enjoy the oral health lessons much more.
- Be A Role Model
No matter how much you lecture your children about the importance of brushing their teeth, if they can’t see you taking care of your own, they might not feel motivated to follow your word. They might even think that it’s something they don’t really need to do, especially if they don’t see you practicing what you preach to them. Oral health is essential for all ages.
It’s recommended that you shouldn’t only tell them the importance of oral health but rather show it to them. When they can see that you’re serious about how you brush your teeth, it’s said that they’ll be more energized to do the same. Younger children are said to imitate what adults practice, so it’s the best time to show them good traits that they should follow.
- Encourage Them Drink Plenty Of Water
Overindulging in sweets and not protecting one’s oral health can cause the teeth’ state to deteriorate. While children are believed to have the sweetest tooth amongst all, to help prevent them from forming harmful cavities, you should encourage them to drink plenty of water every time they consume something sweet.
Every time your child eats something extremely sweet such as a bar of chocolate, ice cream, cupcake, or different preparation of candies, you should tell them that they can only consume them if they drink a tall glass of water afterward. It’s believed that drinking water regularly will help remove any leftover sugars on the teeth and gums’ surface. Leaving them out can speed up the formation of cavities in teeth. While brushing does the job well in eliminating them, drinking plenty of water is an added convenient measure.
- Make It Fun
Children are believed to don’t like to do anything that feels like a chore to them. To encourage your children to learn the importance of oral health, you should make the experience fun. You can show them a cartoon version of what would happen if they don’t brush their teeth regularly. Along with this, you could also let them choose which kind of toothbrush design they like. It could be something that glows in the dark or rattles every time they brush.
In contrast to making the experience exciting, you should also implement a strict rule that your family needs to visit the dentist every six months, no matter how great their teeth look. The schedule would come in more often if they have a poor set of teeth. While you may want to avoid scaring your children, this can motivate them to be serious about their oral health. However, you should try to discuss this with your children in the calmest way possible.
While your children might always be in a playful mood, you should always try to include good oral health in between their routines. It’s always better to start them young to get used to the idea of brushing their teeth twice a day, along with regular visits to the dentists. It’ll only feel like a normal thing to do and not an additional errand that they get tired of.
Moreover, you shouldn’t instill intense fear in your children but only provide a proper warning. You want them to learn and not develop any trauma which can scar them for life.
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