Dental hygiene is a topic that is sometimes stifled or overshadowed by other medical concerns. However, having healthy teeth is a vital part of maintaining a health body overall. Therefore, you want to encourage your kids to make their dental hygiene a priority starting from a young age.
Visit the Dentist Yourself
Consider the effect that role models have had in your life. If you saw your parents engage in a particular behavior when you were young, you may have automatically judged the behavior as a positive one. Therefore, going to the dentist yourself can act as a good example for your children. When you avoid your own dental appointments, you send that message that this hygiene isn’t important.
Purchase Fun Tools
Some kids shy away from dental hygiene because they are frightened, but others are simply bored by the process of brushing and flossing their teeth. To encourage better dental health in the latter group, look into adding some fun tools for dental hygiene into the kids’ bathroom. You can get them excited to use their new gadgets. Also, using old tools of teeth-brushing techniques is unlikely to provide the same health benefits as more sophisticated technology, so the benefits are multifaceted.
Children are often known for their vivid imaginations, and you can use this situation to your advantage. For example, Parents suggests having a pretend appointment with your kids before you bring them to the dentist. Of course, you’ll want to have a good sense of what the appointment will entail so that you properly guide the pretend session. Also, don’t hyperbolize or create unrealistic expectations for your children.
Go to a Family Practice
Once you are ready to schedule an appointment for your children, make sure to select a dentist who has vast experience working with children. Going to a family practice can make the appointment better for everyone involved. A family practice may very well have books and toys set up in the waiting area, which can help to reduce some of the anxiety your kids feel as you wait for the appointment to begin.
While very small children are generally too young to fully understand their dental situation, you can encourage kids to have a say in their treatment starting from an early age. For example, if your children ask you a question about brushing their teeth at home and you don’t know the answer, encourage them to ask the dentist themselves at the appointment. You can give our kids a gentle reminder to ask at the right time. Teaching kids to be their own advocates can empower them and make them realize that they have a say in their health care.
At a young age, children should start to learn the importance of going to the dentist. As a parent, you have a responsibility to nurture this learning. While such a project can seem difficult, you can use specific techniques to help.