Teaching your children how to properly care for their teeth is one of first lessons you give them as a parent. Brushing your teeth is an important part of self-maintenance, so if you can give them proper instructions and help them to understand the importance of oral hygiene then you’ll be effectively setting them on the road to independence and adulthood. So, when it comes to your children’s dental health it’s important that you teach them how to take care of their teeth the right way and give them encouragement along the way.
It’s common knowledge that children love everything sweet and sugary. As parents, it’s tempting to reward them with sweet things. When they refuse to eat their vegetables at the dinner table we might offer them ice cream as an incentive to eat their greens. When they behave well we give them sugary treats and give in to their polite requests for chocolates and sweets. However, all of this sugar over time can rot away teeth and sugar can become a lifelong addiction when they develop a sugar bingeing habit in their younger years. So, try to avoid putting too much sugar in their diet. Teach them about the value of a good diet and encourage them with positive reinforcement when they make steps towards a healthy diet. Instead of rewarding them with sweets and food, consider some healthier alternatives.
There comes a time when you have to stop brushing your children’s teeth and they have to start doing it themselves. During this time, it’s important that you instil in them an enthusiasm for dental hygiene and turn taking care of their teeth into an achievement to be proud of. To make the experience less daunting to begin with, it’s okay to buy your children a toothbrush they like. Maybe you can find one in a colour they like or one that features a favourite character. You can also get child-friendly fluoride toothpastes that have flavours that are more appealing for children.
Once you find the right toothbrush and toothpaste you can start teaching them how to brush. You should teach them to brush not only their teeth, but also along their gum line. You should also construct for them a brushing routine that ensures that all areas of their mouth are cleaned. Some parents give their children certain songs to sing while their children are brushing to ensure that they do so for the full recommended minutes.
After the age of 6 you can start teaching your children how to use floss and mouthwash. For safety reasons, your children shouldn’t use these products unsupervised until they have had a good of amount of experience with using them on their own. In terms of using mouthwash, you should ensure that your children never attempt to drink it. The best mouthwash for children would be one that contains a minimal amount of alcohol and doesn’t have a strong flavour.
If you’re unsure about your children’s dental health or if your child is experiencing any oral pain, please consult your dentist first.