Eight ways to encourage healthy dental habits for kids

Proper dental care can help protect your child’s health now and well into adulthood. Helping your child develop a positive attitude toward their dentist is important.  As with any doctor visit, it’s natural for children to be nervous when they have their first dental visit. As a parent, there are many things you can do to help make their dental visits a good experience. Try some of these tips the next time your child has a checkup to make sure they have a stress-free trip.

  • Begin visits early – The earlier your child starts receiving dental care, the more normal it will seem to them as they have regular visits. Starting your child on a positive note about dental care can help set them up for a lifetime of good checkups and healthy teeth. Not sure about what age to begin dental visits? Talk to your child’s pediatrician about how soon your child can begin seeing a dentist.
  • Be honest and explain – Inform your child of what to expect in basic terms that your child can understand. But don’t worry about going into immense detail. Your child’s pediatric dentist will cover the details and try their best to make your child feel safe and comfortable while in their care.
  • Lead by example – As parents, you become the primary role models for your child – beginning in the early years and as your child ages, too. It’s important that you ask your child to brush and floss his or her teeth, but it’s equally important that you show him or her how to brush and floss their teeth. Brush your teeth and floss with your child regularly to help encourage this routine. Also, if you have anxiety about going to the dentist, be careful not to show it in front of your child. Make sure your child understands that proper dental care is a priority to leading a healthy life.

Been to the dentist but need help encouraging your child to brush and floss? Try some of these tools and tips to make the activity fun for your child:

  1. Charts (weekly or monthly) 

By using stickers, display your child’s progress each day.

  1. Electric toothbrush 

Once your child is old enough, get him or her an electric toothbrush that runs for two minutes and then automatically shuts off. Some electric toothbrushes play music or light up for the duration of two minutes to make the time pass by quickly for your child.

  1. Step stool

If your bathroom sink is too high, get a step stool for your child to stand on while brushing and flossing their teeth.

  1. Flosser

Find a fun flosser that is easy to grip for your child and tastes yummy.

  1. Toothbrush holder

Get a fun toothbrush holder that fits your child’s personality.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Celebrate with us by making dental care a priority for your child.

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