Tips for Developing Dental Habits for Kids

Helping your child live a healthy life starts with modeling healthy habits. This is particularly true when developing defining dental habits. Here are some ways you can reinforce crucial dental habits.

Brushing the Right Way

Many parents find success in reading children's books to help them want to brush their teeth. These books often anthropomorphize dental terms to help children visualize the importance of brushing their teeth in the right ways.

For example, cavities can be difficult for children to understand. If they can visualize cavities and tooth decay as bugs or other invasive critters trying to find a home in their teeth, they can realize why they need to keep their teeth clean. Before you attempt to teach your children to brush their teeth, spend a few moments explaining the "why" of the habit. You can contact services like SBA Books to learn more about kid's hygiene books. 

Many children fail to adequately brush their teeth. Your child must learn that brushing teeth thoroughly requires time. You have them choose a "toothbrush song." This song should be about 2 minutes and include at least 4 transitions in the song. As your child learns how to brush their teeth, teach them to brush for the song's duration. You can also teach them to move between sections of their teeth when they hear transitions in the song. For instance, they might start with their bottom right teeth for the song's first chorus and move to their top right teeth during the second chorus. They can proceed with this pattern until they brush all four corners of their teeth.

Become a Brushing Buddy

Children model the behaviors and habits they observe. Your child is more likely to learn good dental hygiene habits from you than anyone else. For example, brushing your teeth immediately after eating meals can dramatically decrease tooth decay and diseases. Packing a toothbrush and floss wherever you go can help you reinforce this habit. So after eating meals, take your child with you to the restroom. Then, spend two minutes brushing your teeth and a few more minutes flossing so the habit becomes instinctual for your child. When your child becomes school-aged, you can pack a discreet tooth brushing kit in their backpack.

Regularly seeing a dentist is another key habit to model. When your child regularly sees their dentist, they are less likely to be afraid of the process and more open to following your dentist's recommendations.