Even if you help your kids stick to a good at-home oral hygiene routine, they’re still looking to you for an example of how to take care of themselves. Kids are fairly perceptive and know that the “do as I say and not as I do” adage is hypocritical and flawed. Luckily there are ways to model good oral hygiene behavior so that your children can grow into adults with healthy teeth.
Set A Good Example
Below are some great tips on how to show your children that you value dental health and that they should, too:
- Brush & Floss Every Day – Make sure you’re remembering to brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Additionally, we recommend making your oral hygiene routine a family affair. Gather everyone in the bathroom in the morning and at night to brush and floss together. This will allow your children to watch you care for your own teeth while they care for theirs.
- Improve Your Diet – We all know that sugar is bad for teeth. However, if you explain this to your kids and then proceed to purchase and consume sugary treats, you’re sending mixed messages. Decide as a family to implement better eating habits, and take your own advice!
- Talk About Your Mistakes – Don’t feel like you need to present an image of perfection to your child. Talk about your oral hygiene mistakes and how they could have been avoided. Let them know about a particularly painful cavity you received because you weren’t taking care of your teeth. These cautionary tales can provide your children with a relatable consequence of falling behind on oral hygiene.
- Let Them Watch Your Appointment – Lastly, if you have a family-friendly dentist, consider taking your kids along to your regular dental cleanings and exams. This way they can observe the procedure, taking ‘fear of the unknown’ out of the equation and helping them feel more comfortable in the dentist’s office.
Good oral hygiene habits start in childhood. If you can set a good foundation for your children now, you’ll have a better chance of raising them into adults with excellent oral hygiene.
To make an appointment with Dr. Matthew Schacht, please contact Denver Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery here in Denver, CO.