MAKE GOOD ORAL HEALTH A FAMILY THING
As a parent, you know you don’t have to ask your kids twice whether they would like to do something fun, right? But it isn’t quite the case when it comes to them brushing their teeth. That is because oral care is “boh-ring” and such an “adulting” thing to do. Despite the yawn factor, oral health for children is something we can all get excited about.
Your dental health, whether you know it or not, has a massive impact on your overall well-being. Currently, in the US, tooth decay is among the most common chronic conditions affecting children. Studies reveal that poor oral health doesn’t only affect their confidence and health, it also impacts their ability to perform at school.
The frustrating part for you as a parent is that tooth decay among children is often a result of poor oral care, which is most often avoidable.
Establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits for your family is essential, from the time your little one’s very first tooth appears, to when grandparents get their new set of dentures. This is why we at Family Dentistry of Edgefield encourage mom, dad, little one, and even grandma and grandpa to get as enthusiastic about their teeth as we are.
Here are five fun ways to get the whole family excited about dental health.
1. FLOSS LIKE A BOSS AND AS A FAMILY.
You know kids learn by example, which is why it is a good idea to brush, floss, and use mouthwash as a family. Get your little one to be in charge of teeth cleaning time, allowing them to put the toothpaste on everyone’s toothbrush, making sure everyone brushes for two minutes and checking that the whole family flosses.
Children love mimicking what mom, dad, and big brother do, so if you can make dental health a part of your daily routine, it won’t be long before it’s part of theirs.
2. APP, APP, AND AWAY!
Everybody loves a good app, and there are loads available to encourage a healthy oral care routine and keep it going. If your family loves music (and who doesn’t) try Brush DJ, an award-winning free app. The app plays your favorite song for the recommended two minutes and also lets you set reminders to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. You can even set a reminder for your next dentist appointment.
Another great way to use technology is to listen to podcasts while everyone is brushing and flossing. This way everyone will be looking forward to teeth-brushing time to hear what happens next.
3. NO GOOD (ORAL CARE) DEED SHOULD GO UNREWARDED.
For the younger members of the family, implementing a reward system often works like a charm. Make up your own reward chart or use one of the many printables ones available on the web to get them to brush their teeth.
The rewards do not have to be costly, and, we think it goes without saying, shouldn’t include candy or sweet treats. Depending on the age of your children, and what they enjoy, the reward could be a new book for bedtime reading, letting them choose a weekend activity or extra screen time.
4. SHOW AND TELL WITH FUN EXPERIMENTS.
Your children probably hear you drone on about brushing teeth and the importance of it all the time. For most kids, regardless of their ages, being able to see something helps them to better understand. Why not demonstrate with a few really easy experiments? These simple experiments will not only show them what happens when they neglect their teeth and don’t eat healthy, teeth-friendly foods, they will also help develop your children’s analytical skills.
5. FIND A DENTIST THE WHOLE FAMILY LOVES.
While some parents prefer using a pediatric dentist for their younger children and another one for the rest of the family, it can make planning and getting to the different appointments a logistical nightmare. Instead, find a practice that looks after the whole family’s dental health needs, whether it’s preventative care like sealants for children, restorative care, teeth alignment, and even cosmetic dentistry.
But it doesn’t stop there. It is essential that you schedule your appointments regularly and stick to them. While some patients might need to see their dentist every six months, others might need a checkup more often. Those who know that flossing will just never be a part of their routine, for example. A simple, but really effective way to stay on top of you and your family’s dental health is by scheduling your next appointment while you are there.
Family Dentistry of Edgefield is your one-stop dental health care practice that offers all of the above as well as oral cancer screenings, night guards to help you stop grinding your teeth and Invisalign clear aligners.
Our family of friendly professionals is looking forward to meeting yours.