Teaching children about good oral hygiene is a family practice. Children tend to initially fear the dentist. It is the responsibility of the parents, siblings, and dentists office to overcome this fear, thus leading to proper dental practices. These tips will help you to instill feelings of comfort and importance in your children when it comes to the dentists office.
Be a good role model
Young children carefully watch their parents and siblings. They go through a phase where they want to be just like them. This is an important time for pushing good habits, including oral hygiene. Make sure your young children understand the importance of daily brushing and flossing. Let them watch you as you brush and floss daily. Even bringing them along to your dental checkups can be helpful for introducing them to the dentists office in a neutral environment. Introduce them to dental books and answer any questions that they might have involving the family dentist.
Teach them about dental hygiene early
As soon as your child?s first tooth emerges, they should see their family dentist. Although there won?t be much to do yet, it is an important part of introducing them to the dentist. You can also teach them about proper dental hygiene by teaching them to brush and floss. Help them reach their tools and provide them with fun and unique tools that make the entire process entertaining. If they enjoy brushing, it will only be a matter of time until they are begging to get their turn in the dental chair.
Choose a good family dentist
As you probably know, a good dentist can completely change your perception of the dentist?s office. If you have a dentist that you do not enjoy or that does not answer all of your dental questions, you are more likely to have a negative experience. You are allowed to shop around for the perfect family dentist. Find someone that you feel comfortable with and that you believe your children will also feel comfortable with. It can be even more helpful to choose a dentists office that is child friendly. This includes child proof offices and a variety of children?s toys in the waiting room.
Keep up with routine dental appointments
Just as it is important to keep up with your own dental appointments, it is also important that your children have regular checkups and dental cleanings. More than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. Many of these untreated cavities could have been prevented or corrected with a routine dental services appointment. Additionally, an estimated 18.6% of children from ages five to 19 suffer from untreated cavities. Make sure your children are regularly checked for cavities.
Promote healthy eating habits
Good dental health starts at home. The foods and drinks that your children consume will affect their teeth. Many children are left with untreated cavities because a lot of children?s drinks are filled with sugar. Work with your family dentistry office on choosing food and drinks that are healthy for the teeth. If your child does consume something high in sugar, make sure they are brushing and flossing immediately following.
Almost all adults (99.7%) surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry believe a healthy smile is socially important. Yet, many Americans are not only unsatisfied with the condition of their own teeth, but pass on their fears and adversity of the dentist to their children. This leads to a never ending cycle of poor dental hygiene. Proper dental hygiene needs to start at a young age. It also needs to be a family effort for the best results.