You kid’s teeth are important! It’s never too early to get children in the habit of good oral care. Of course, it’s up to parents to take the “first steps.” Finding new ways to model good dental habits and practice them with your kids is key. The sooner kids begin to take charge of their own teeth, the happier and healthier they (and you) will be. And the payoffs over a lifetime are immeasurable.
If you think it’s a challenge to teach your kids good oral care, you’re in good company. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. And studies show that almost 50% of kids between six and eight have had at least one cavity.1 These are just a couple of reasons why it’s so important to help kids understand right from the start that proper dental habits are a smart idea.
There’s a lot of information you can discover, but these basics are a good beginning.
Showing by example and making it fun is the name of the game. When everyone brushes at the same time, it becomes a family ritual that kids look forward to.
As kids get older, they want to feel more independent. Part of growing up includes assuming responsibility for taking care of their own teeth—without prompting from parents. Appeal to what matters to them: Kids want to look good to their peers, they want to smile in selfies, and they don’t want to spend their free time sitting in the dental professional’s chair.
To teach kids more about proper brushing time, try the Disney Magic Timer App.
Another big challenge for children is avoiding sugary snacks and drinks. Healthier snack options let them enjoy better dental and overall health. If your kids are involved in sports, a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injury can keep them safe and looking good for a lifetime.
Flossing is an important lesson to teach. You might also want to ask your dental professional about sealants or fluoride treatments for added protection against decay.
1 NIH.gov: Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General