Encourage Good Oral Hygiene in Children at a Young Age
As a parent, have you encountered situations where your child throws tantrums about visiting a dentist, or makes a fuss about brushing teeth twice a day, or finds flossing to be an irritant? If getting your toddler to practice good oral hygiene is turning into an epic battle, you are not alone; most parents face this situation at some time or another.
However, it is easier to introduce good dental care practices amongst children from an early age to help them form healthy habits for long lasting oral health. You just need to think out-of-the-box, and find creative ways to make these activities attractive for your little ones.
Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Kids
There are plenty of kid-friendly solutions to make your tiny tots understand that dental care is an important and non-negotiable aspect of overall health care. Here are some options that you may want to explore:
• Gamify Everything: For most kids, there is nothing quite as exciting as playing a game or solving a puzzle. In addition to stories, jokes and trivia about oral health, you can create your own imaginative, house rules or games to encourage activities such as brushing or flossing. Print out this fabulous ‘Find Your Way’ game, to make your child’s trip to the dentist an exciting one. Furthermore, you can choose from a wide range of free educational apps and download some on your phones, tablets or computers. These apps have exciting inbuilt games, songs and videos that show the right techniques of dental care and help children understand the consequences of neglecting dental hygiene. Some apps even offer interesting ways to track daily progress and earn treats.
• Reward all Healthy Teeth Missions: Whether it is a trip to the dentist or brushing teeth twice daily without reminders, reward all good behaviour and give your little ones plenty of positive reinforcement. Give them special treats that are sugar free or a trip to their favourite park, for being brave about a dental cleaning or a checkup. Appreciate the teeth-friendly choices they make in food and drinks. Give them some kind of treat each time they are successful at solving a dental health trivia or game. Tell them why baby teeth will eventually fall out and how the new teeth should be cared for all their lives. Use this interesting tooth fairy puzzle while discussing this topic.
• Let Your Child Have a Say: To inculcate good oral hygiene habits amongst your young ones, let them actively participate in the process of dental care. Let them pick out the colour of their toothbrush, or the flavour of their toothpaste. Allow them to decide whether they want to floss before brushing or after. If you make the home dental care routine fun and enjoyable, chances are that your little ones will be less apprehensive about sitting in the dentist’s chair.
• Lead By Example: Children are always observing their parents and they usually imitate what their elders do. Make sure you practice a disciplined oral care routine, including brushing, flossing and keeping to a schedule for your dental checkups and teeth cleaning. Even if you are anxious about your own dental appointments, do not let your children sense your fears and nervousness, else their confidence about visiting a dentist may also take a beating.
• Listen and Clarify: Sometimes children may develop tension or anxiety about dental exams because of the stories or incidents they hear from other kids. Listen to your children’s fears and explain to them how a dentist can help them have strong, healthy and clean teeth. Let them accompany you to your cleaning appointments or annual checkups so that they understand that there is no pain or threat in visiting a dentist.
Choose the Family Dentists at Your Red Deer Family Dental Clinic
At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, we encourage families to introduce their children to our friendly dentists from an early age. Our team of professionals is experienced in working with kids of all ages and temperaments, to ensure that they have healthy, beautiful smiles. For your convenience, we offer extended hours so that there is no disruption in your child’s school schedule or your work day. When you book your child’s dental appointment with us, you can also take advantage of our excellent location and indulge your little ones in various fun activities at the mall.
Let Parkland Mall Dental Centre take care of your child’s smile and dental care needs. Call us at 403-342-1118 or use our online form to book an appointment. We always welcome new dental patients of all ages.