As their primary caregiver, one of the most important aspects of bringing your child in for their first dental visit is learning how best to care for their teeth. We are happy to show you how to clean their mouth daily and answer any questions or concerns you may have about their oral hygiene. We can also spot check for potential issues early on to make sure that your child’s oral development is on track for a healthier smile.
This is important because as your child develops good oral habits in caring for their baby teeth, they will more likely maintain those habits as they grow older and care for their adult teeth. Their permanent teeth come in from the ages of 6 to 11, so this is the time they need to be brushing well. You really want them to realize the importance of practicing healthy habits for long-term oral health. This ongoing daily care helps maintain their teeth while helping them develop a confident smile and their burgeoning self-image.
By now you have probably already noticed that children are good at observation. They watch what others do, and then copy them. This is how they learn. So if they see you taking good care of your teeth, they will likely be motivated to do the same themselves. When it comes to children’s behavior, the imitation game is something most parents are definitely familiar with!
How to model healthy dental habits
Brushing your own teeth with your child can make hygiene more interesting for them. Besides setting the dental hygiene example for your child, you can make it even more interesting by giving them fun tools they can use. Having access to toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss in different colors and various flavors can make cleaning their teeth more of a treat rather than being a chore. If you can take them with you when you replenish these items, so much the better. If they can help pick out something they like, they are more likely to look forward to using it.
While brushing with your child, you can also keep showing them the proper way to do it and remind them to brush gently so they don’t saw at their teeth. This will help them learn how to clean their teeth and gums without wearing them down.
Other fun aspects of teaching children good oral habits is giving them challenges to reach and rewarding them for doing a great job, such as consistently brushing their teeth. You can even use colorful charts with stickers they can add when they are first learning and practicing good habits.
If you would like to know more about how to care for your child’s teeth and teaching them along the way, feel free to give us a call. We are always happy to help your child have the best dental care!