Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy are essential to their development. As your child gets older and begins to develop habits and routines of their own, taking care of their oral health should be among them!
How can you start developing an oral care routine with your child now to set them up for good habits independently in the future? Here are a few key steps you can take to encourage a positive brushing and flossing routine for your kids!
Brush Teeth at the Same Time Every Day
Your child’s oral care routine should begin as soon as those first baby teeth erupt through the gum tissue . However, as kids get older, they’ll begin to take on brushing and flossing for themselves. To encourage your child to prioritize their oral care, stick to a routine. Have them stay on a schedule and brush and floss their teeth at the same time every day, if possible.
If their schedule is constantly changing, maybe having them brush their teeth at the same time every day is unrealistic, but they can still develop a routine, such as brushing their teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Make It a Family Activity
Making brushing and flossing a family activity can help motivate kids to keep up with their oral care as they get older and start brushing and flossing on their own. Most children will need supervision when brushing and flossing their own teeth until at least age six, and some will need supervision until age eight, although every child is different .
When brushing teeth together in the morning or before bed, you can listen to two-minute teeth brushing songs, use interactive apps, or make it an activity you do together before another family activity, such as reading a story or playing a game before bed. All of these ideas can help kids get excited about their oral care and develop healthy habits!
Use Dental Visits as Motivation
Your child’s dentist plays a vital role in keeping cavities away, but dental visits can also help motivate kids to take good care of their teeth . Kids can see their progress when they don’t have cavities and the dentist says their teeth look great. They can also talk to the dentist about tips for improving their brushing and flossing and feel good about what they’re accomplishing—a healthy smile!
Set a Good Example
Although it certainly helps to talk to your kids about how important their dental health is, children tend to pay more attention to what adults do rather than what they say. Setting a good example for your child when it comes to brushing and flossing will show your kids just how important taking care of their smiles is. Show them that it’s not just kids who have to brush and floss their teeth and go to the dentist—adults do, too!
Have you and your kids developed an oral care routine yet to keep their smile healthy Consider some of the above tips to set your kids up for a healthy smile for life!