Stand Firm on Your Child’s Oral Hygiene
If you are a parent, you may be all too familiar with the tears, tantrums and general difficulties of getting your children to regularly brush his or her teeth. As nerve-racking as it is for you, it is important that you stand firm on the daily routine. The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children starts in the first years of life. As a parent you are responsible for building this foundation and helping your children understand the importance of oral hygiene.
The benefits of brushing teeth are fairly obvious. Perhaps the strongest component of good oral hygiene, toothbrushing protects the enamel by reducing the amount of bacteria and acid in the mouth. A healthy mouth prevents the development of oral problems and the subsequent need for expensive dental visits.
For these reasons, parents regularly need to reinforce oral hygiene techniques as positive behaviors. The amount of effort it takes to do so pales in comparison to the effort needed to get your child to and from the dentist. As a parent, you are the most influential role model in your child’s life, and most children want to be like their mom or dad. Thus, if your child sees you attending to your own oral hygiene, he or she will get the idea that it is a good thing to do regularly.
Here are three simple recommendations:
- Set the daily routine and be actively involved in it with your children.
- Start this routine as early as possible. The sooner your children begin to embrace the daily routine, the less friction will ensue later on.
- Explain to your children why oral hygiene is important. Direction without explanation tends to confuse young children.
Above all, remember: They are children. Yelling, threatening or punishing them rarely works. Sometimes the best way to get them to want to do something is to make a game of it. Making oral health maintenance a fun experience will reinforce the behavior you wish to encourage. When children associate fun or laughter with the act of brushing their teeth, they will be the ones asking for “toothbrush time”!
We’d love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today.