If you have school aged children, they will most likely be out for two or more weeks of vacation where they get out of their routines. Younger children may struggle getting back into a predictable schedule after parents have been home or on vacation. It’s common to become inconsistent with oral hygiene routines over the holidays.
Here are some simple steps to help get your kiddos back on track!
Help your kids establish their own tooth brushing routine
While your kids might be wonderful about getting up on time and completing all of their morning grooming tasks while school was in session, they might have had a hard time sticking to it while on holiday break. They may have gotten up several hours later during vacation and only brushed their teeth when you reminded them to. That’s why it’s essential to get back to a regular routine as soon as possible, before tooth decay has a chance to start. If you have toddlers, they depend on you to set the stage for them when it comes to toothbrushing. Let them know this should happen twice a day and set a schedule. You’ll need to do most of the directing but your children will learn a routine. You can allow older children to develop their own oral care routine to help them learn personal responsibility. However, you should make it clear that you will be supervising them in the process.
Teach your kids that flossing regularly should go hand in hand with brushing their teeth
Flossing is just as important for your child to do as brushing their teeth. If your child doesn’t currently floss, allow them to observe you doing it and then explain how to do it themselves. Start by looping the floss around one of your child’s fingers from each hand and guide the floss between two of the bottom teeth. Then ask your child to demonstrate the same technique for each of the remaining teeth. You will likely need to supervise for a while. If your child has trouble properly holding the floss, floss sticks are a great alternative!
Provide healthy snack options to your children
Now that school is back in session, your kids will probably be coming home hungry from a full day of learning. Having healthy snacks available as soon as your child gets home will help them make it to dinner without reaching for less healthy alternatives. We recommend limiting the availability of sugary snacks and drinks and stocking your refrigerator and pantry with some of these healthy alternatives:
- Cheese sticks
- Seaweed snax
- Cut vegetables
- Yogurt or cottage cheese
Please don’t hesitate to contact Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics if you have additional questions about your child’s oral healthcare or to schedule a preventative care exam.