It can sometimes be difficult for children to follow new rules as they grow older, especially as their baby and permanent teeth develop. As babies, kids had help from mommy and daddy to keep their teeth clean, but when they’re older, the responsibility is theirs. Young kids may not look forward to keeping up with dental hygiene twice a day.
As pediatric dental specialists, the Tooth Station understands this challenge and has created the following guide to building effective hygiene routines at home.
Make a Chart and Set Rewards
Positive reinforcement creates the best impression of dental care and hygiene routines. If your child is successful at brushing their teeth before bed and when they wake up, they should be provided with a gold star or a special sticker. After earning enough positive markers, treat your child to a fun day out or their favorite treat. For fussy children, this can be an especially effective strategy that motivates them to keep their smiles clean.
Get the Timing Right
Everyone’s hygiene habits are different, but when it comes to dentistry, certain timing is necessary to protect dental enamel. Some kids like to wake up and immediately head to breakfast, brushing their teeth before they leave the door for school. However, this can prove to be damaging. After eating and drinking, dental enamel becomes slightly softer. Brushing your teeth immediately after you eat can cause teeth to become thin over time as enamel wears away. Instead, create the right habits by encouraging kids to brush before they eat in the morning and before bed in the evening instead of right after dinner.
Make it a Team Effort
It’s hard to send children off to brush their teeth if they see you’re not doing the same yourself. Set an excellent example for your kids by joining them during brushing and flossing time; you can even get big brothers and sister in on it too. This allows you to demonstrate that everyone brushes their teeth to ensure they’re thoroughly cleaning their smiles before bed. While cleaning your teeth is part of a routine for you, as an adult, it’s important to help kids get into the rhythm themselves so they no longer see it as a chore.
Need More Help? Ask our Children’s Dentist
If you’re struggling to keep your kids on the right track with their oral hygiene, we encourage you to call our office and talk to a member of our team today. We provide education and tips to keep parents and kids smiling