Instilling excellent dental habits in your child at a young age can set the pace for a lifetime of great dental and oral health. However, teaching your child to take on great dental habits can be easier said than done, especially as your child grows older. Fortunately, there are some simple yet very effective steps you can take to help encourage great habits in young children.
Supervise Brushing and Flossing
Around toddler age, children should be able to learn how to brush and floss their own teeth. For most toddlers, this can be taught around the same time that they learn to tie their shoes. When teaching your child to brush and floss, make sure they have a child-friendly toothbrush, toothpaste, and flosser picks available to make learning easier (and more fun). Furthermore, because young children will have a tendency to want to swallow toothpaste, be sure to supervise them closely until you're confident in their abilities.
Start Seeing a Dentist Early On
Ideally, your child should see a dentist at a very young age, such as shortly after the first teeth erupt. This is a great way to help your young child become more familiar with the experience of seeing a dentist and what to expect from these visits. The sooner you start bringing your child in for dental exams and cleanings, the easier it will be for your child to adjust and avoid anxiety or fear over going to the dentist. This, in turn, will make them less likely to try to avoid appointments later in life.
Set a Great Example
Remember that your child is always looking up to you, and believe it or not, they'll notice your dental habits and mimic what they see. With that in mind, make sure you're setting a good example by going to your dentist regularly, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing.
Reward Responsible Habits
When your child has a cavity-free dentist appointment or begins to establish good dental hygiene habits, it's always a good idea to reward them. Just be sure to do this not by offering your child candy or a counter-productive reward, but something constructive, such as a new toothbrush or toy.
Taking these small steps will go a long way in establishing excellent dental hygiene habits that will last for life. As a result, your child can enjoy better dental and oral health. Contact a dental office like Pedodontic Associates Inc for more information and assistance.