Encouraging Your Child to Practice Good Dental Health

Jul 22, 2013

Though we all love our kids, taking care of them isn’t always easy — and that’s especially true when it comes to ensuring our children practice good dental health. While getting your child excited about taking care of their teeth and practicing good oral hygiene can be difficult, there are many things you can do to assure your child’s dental health is at its peak, at the same time guaranteeing a future of great oral hygiene habits.

 

Encouraging Your Child to Practice Good Dental Health

  • Start Early — A common mistake many parents make is to assume that baby teeth don’t matter. This is far from the truth. Not only can poor dental care in youth lead to more severe problems later on, it also reinforces an idea that not taking care of your teeth is okay to young children. By bringing your child to the dentist and requiring them to brush and floss from a young age, you begin to build important habits into their daily regimen so early, that they’ll never even remember not flossing and brushing.

  • Don’t Bribe or Use Rewards — Though it can be tempting to do so, don’t try and encourage good dental hygiene through material rewards such as money or toys. Likewise, don’t tell a fussy child you’ll take them to the toy store if they get through the appointment without whining. While these might be good short term solutions, they don’t set a good precedent for a child’s dental regimen. Children will begin associating good dental hygiene behavior with a material reward, which isn’t a good precedent to set. Instead, encourage your child for their bravery, or give them a small reward once in a while, but don’t make gifts or a one-time bonus to an allowance the norm.

  • Set a Good Example — The fact of the matter is, your children look up to you, and you can set a bad example for them if you’re not doing your job, too. If you take your child with you to the dentist for your appointment, and you’re the one complaining, then it seems hypocritical to ask your child not to be fussy at the dentist. Likewise, if you’re coming home with several cavities, you’re not setting the best example for your child to take care of their teeth.

 

There are many steps you can take to encourage your child to form good habits both at home and at the dentist, these are just a few. If you have any other questions about starting your child on the best path to good dental hygiene, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!