Teaching Oral Hygiene to Small Children
The best way to protect your child’s teeth is by teaching them good oral hygiene. Experts recommend to start oral health education for children right after birth. The earlier you train them to take care of their teeth, the more instinctive it will become. With proper coaching, your child will quickly adopt good oral hygiene as a part of their daily routine. We’ve outlined some fun ways to teach your little one good oral hygiene.
Start With The Basics
- Start by telling your child why oral hygiene is so important. Even small children can understand the concept of cavities and oral decay. You may need to use different terms depending on their age like bad guys, germs, or yucky spots. Once your child learns about this, they will want to prevent them.
- Show them what healthy teeth look like, and help them understand what could be signs of trouble. This could help catch problems before they become painful.
- Teach them proper oral hygiene skills. This means proper brushing techniques and effective flossing. We have outlined detailed instructions on how to brush and floss in other blogs!
- Lead by example by using these skills regularly yourself! Kids love imitating mom and dad so this is a no brainer.
- Teach them about the link between a healthy diet and oral health. Point out why it’s good to eat healthy foods instead of sugary snacks. If you need ideas about healthy snacks that are good for your child’s teeth, we’ve outlined those too!
- Reinforce the importance of good oral health by bringing them in for their regular dental checkups. What’s better is that if the experience is fun, it will only add to their excitement about keeping their mouth healthy!
Remember that children are concrete thinkers and little sponges. Rather than explain all of this verbally, show them when possible. You might be surprised at how much even your preschooler will remember about teeth. Once they understand oral hygiene and its importance, they won’t mind doing it as much.
Schedule an appointment for your little one and start their oral hygiene education off right!