Teaching Good Oral Health Practices to Children: A Guide
January 31st, 2022 by Catherine Marqueses
You only get one set of teeth that need to last you throughout your life. The key to achieving this is to maintain good oral hygiene practices and visit a dentist regularly.
Of course, the sooner you start doing this the more effective it is likely to be. That’s why it is essential that you encourage your child to develop good oral health practices. If they learn as a child they are more likely to continue them as an adult.
Start As Soon As they Have Teeth
As soon as your child develops teeth they will need to start brushing them. Of course, when they are very small they will be reliant on you cleaning their teeth. You should brush them every morning and evening to help your child become accustomed to cleaning their mouth.
You will need to be gentle but adopting the right technique at the start makes it easier for them to take over and continue the habit.
Set A Good Example
Children tend to mimic their parents. That means they are more likely to brush their teeth if they see you doing it. Show them that you brush your teeth twice a day and that it’s fun, even if it’s not.
This will encourage them to do the same.
Young children have little need for a dentist. However, using a reputable pediatric dentist Sydney from when they are small gets them used to the habit of visiting the dentist. This will help to prevent them from developing dental phobia as they age. A good dentist will also ensure your child is comfortable and has the opportunity to ask questions.
The dentist can help ensure they are brushing correctly and they will spot any issues that need to be dealt with.
Explain How Diet Matter
Young children absorb information, that’s why this is a great time to teach them. You need to explain to them how eating sugar causes a reaction with bacteria in their mouth and creates acid. This then attacks the teeth potentially causing cavities and worse.
When they understand this they will find it easier to accept your guidelines regarding diet, specifically to avoid sugar-laden drinks and snacks.
This doesn’t just help their oral health, adopting a healthy diet when they are younger will make it easier for them to avoid weight gain and obesity issues.
Let Them Choose
It’s much more fun for children to do their teeth when they have picked their own toothbrush and toothpaste. While this may cost a little more it ensures they are eager to look after their teeth and that gives them a skill that will help them throughout life.
To help motivate your children you can offer them a reward for doing their teeth regularly and properly. This may be stickers on a star chart or a specific gift. It should not be sugary treats as this undermines the good oral health practices you are trying to instil in them.