Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Encourage Good Dental Health in Children Starting Now

As a parent, it’s your job to properly equip your children with the tools they need in order to become self-sufficient. This means that habits such as budgeting and car maintenance are lessons they need to learn. However, one of the earliest lessons you’ll want to teach involves proper dental hygiene. Consider a few of the ways you can actively encourage good dental health practices in children right now.

Combine Music and Time

There are many children’s television shows that create songs surrounding healthy habits. Find a song that talks about brushing teeth. Whenever it’s time to brush teeth, you can use a song and a timer in order to encourage brushing for a certain period of time. Find a recording of the famous Jeopardy song. Play it while your children are brushing their teeth. By the time the song is finished, they can stop brushing. It adds a sense of nostalgia and fun to their morning and evening routines.

Use Plaque Dyes

Your children might get a kick out of seeing how healthy and clean their teeth are by using plaque dyes. You can monitor how often they use the plaque dyes, but give them a chance to see their progress in keeping plaque at bay by taking pictures. This one activity can help them view dental hygiene as a fun process.

Make Dental Visits a Big Deal

Whenever it’s time for a visit to the dentist office, create some sort of incentive to make the experience fun. Treat them for doing a great job at the dentist by taking them to see a movie afterward. Purchase a gift like a new toy or a new book. When there’s a sense of excitement and anticipation surrounding a dental visit, it’s easier to change the way your child views the dentist.

Incorporate practical lessons

Root canals, cavities and braces aren’t the most pleasant experiences. While braces aren’t preventable, root canals and cavities are. Teach your child the importance of monitoring their intake of candy, chips and other unhealthy snacks. Always keep the kitchen pantry filled with healthy options so that your children don’t crave unhealthy foods. As you teach them about the ways sugar can damage their teeth, they’ll start to view sugar as the “bad guy” that they’ll need to stay away from.

Helping your children develop effective and healthy habits might seem difficult at first. Thankfully, the earlier you start, the better off they’ll be. You might feel as though you sound like a broken record, but in this case, that’s not a bad thing. Famous motivational speaker Les Brown once stated that “repetition deepens the impression.” Continue to encourage your children to do better. They’ll get the hint.

Tim Esterdahl

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