Parents are the best teachers when it comes to instilling good oral hygiene habits in their children. Dr. Nolan Behr, who offers pediatric dental treatments in his Colorado Springs, CO, office, shares a few tips that will help your child embrace healthy oral hygiene practices.
Explain why oral hygiene is important
Your children may not understand a lengthy explanation of the damaging effects of plaque and tartar, but they can grasp the importance of clean teeth. When teeth are clean, they look and feel better. Depending on the age of your child, you may explain that brushing removes germs that can cause cavities.
Make brushing a family event
When your children see you brushing your teeth, they're more likely to be interested in brushing their own teeth. When you brush your teeth, invite your kids into the bathroom, then help them brush their teeth just after you brush theirs.
Help your child brush
Young children don't always have the manual dexterity to brush thoroughly. In fact, they may need a little help or supervision up to age seven, depending on the child. Teach your child how to hold the brush and explain that it's important to spend time brushing every single tooth individually. If your child has a doll or stuffed animal with teeth, demonstrate good brushing technique on the toy. Children should brush their teeth in a circular motion using a soft bristled brush.
Make oral hygiene fun
The more enjoyable you can make brushing, the less likely your child will complain about it. Find ways to make the process fun. Buy toothbrushes that light up or play music when your child brushes, or give him or her a sticker to put on an oral hygiene chart every day.
Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits will help protect your child's smile. If your child needs a pediatric dental treatment, or it's time for his or her next exam, call Colorado Springs, CO, dentist Dr. Behr at (719) 591-2050.