Children can build great knowledge at an early age.
The little ones learn faster because the prefrontal cortex of their brain, where the working memory is stored, is more developed than those of adults. Also, they are naturally curious about and intrigued by everything they experience for the first time. Because of this, they absorb more information quickly and effectively.
Moreover, your little ones can learn faster by example, thereby allowing them to gain more knowledge and skills in a smaller amount of time.
As a parent, you have to take this opportunity to instill in your children as many important lessons as possible. These should include key classroom-based and self-help skills and knowledge.
Good oral hygiene habits are some of the self-help skills you will do well to teach your children as soon as possible. When they know the right steps and techniques for taking care of their teeth while they are young, they can have a healthy, beautiful smile even at an early age.
When you explain the importance of proper brushing and flossing and having the right oral hygiene habits, and your little ones understand them, you can ensure they will continue to follow them as they grow older. This, in turn, will help them maintain excellent dental health throughout their lifetime.
Teaching Your Children How to Take Care of Their Teeth
Since children can absorb and imitate everything, you have to be a bit careful and thorough when teaching them the right oral hygiene habits.
Here are six dos and don’ts for teaching your little ones how to take care of their teeth properly:
Know the Right Oral Hygiene Habits for Children First
Before you start teaching your little ones how to brush their teeth, you may want to relearn and update yourself on the proper steps and techniques.
Talk to your dentist or your children’s dental specialist to know which products are best for protecting their teeth. Moreover, ask him or her the right steps and techniques suitable for young ones in terms of brushing, gargling, and other practices.
You can also read up on recommended oral care techniques online. However, you will do well to ask your children’s dentist about these details, too.
Take the time to read up on updates regarding children’s dental care habits as well. Your little ones’ needs and routines will change as they grow older. Knowing which products and practices are suitable for their age will go a long way in helping them maintain and improve their oral health.
Incorporate Fun in Your Little Ones’ Dental Care Lessons
Although children love learning, they can quickly lose interest in doing something that they think is boring. As such, you have to find ways to make practicing good oral hygiene habits enjoyable.
Start by making brushing fun for your kids. Teach them a song about brushing or sing with them their favorite nursery rhymes while doing this in the morning and at night. Try to choose a tune that lasts for two minutes, which is the recommended amount of time everyone should spend brushing their teeth.
Another way you can make brushing more enjoyable is to incorporate stories. Look for interactive tooth-brushing tales online or make up your own ones featuring your kids’ favorite cartoon or movie characters.
Have Regular Talks About Dental Care with Your Children
If your kids need more than a nudge to brush or are doing this haphazardly, you may want to have a talk with them about the importance of having good oral hygiene.
When speaking to your children, talk about how oral habits can help them stay healthy and happy. Brushing, in particular, can help them gain a beautiful smile and avoid dental issues.
You can also encourage your children to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits by having regular talks with them. Ask them to tell you what their favorite part of brushing is and which one they don’t like.
Doing so lets them know you are interested in their dental care and you can help resolve any problems they may have.
Resort to Threats
Children will sometimes refuse to brush their teeth because they are too tired or are busy playing. In such instances, avoid getting angry and scolding them for failing to stick to their dental routine.
Keep in mind that your children need to associate oral hygiene with positive emotions. If you get mad at them easily, they may link those unpleasant memories with their dental habits.
If you are having a hard time encouraging your little ones to brush, use positive reinforcement. Give them simple rewards, such as stickers or an extra hour of play, after brushing. Always compliment them as well when they go about their dental routine without being told to do so.
Create Unhealthy Eating Habits in Your Children
Having a healthy diet is important for your kids’ oral health as well. As such, avoid falling into the habit of giving them candies and sweets as rewards or treats regularly.
Additionally, focus on giving your little one’s healthier meals and snacks. Include more fruits and vegetables in their daily diet instead of starchy, chewy, sticky, and processed foods.
And if you give your little ones these treats, make sure you explain to them the importance of cleaning their teeth afterward and how to do it correctly.
Let Up on Your Own Oral Hygiene Habits
Lastly, as your children’s teacher, you can’t afford to be lazy with your own oral hygiene practices. Aside from having possible dental issues, your little ones will imitate your habits and may end up not taking care of their teeth properly.
Make sure you have good oral hygiene habits, which should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing at night. Eat more healthy foods instead of unhealthy ones as well.
Try to brush your teeth and have meals with your children. Make sure you model the right behaviors so that they will follow your example.
Talking about and modeling good oral hygiene habits will help your children develop and follow them throughout their lifetime.
As an additional tip, don’t forget to include your children’s dentist in teaching them the right dental habits. Your little ones will learn plenty from their specialist, including more brushing and flossing tips.
Moreover, your kids need to see their dentist regularly to have good oral health, which is crucial even at their age.