Healthy Oral Hygiene Routine Advice for Kids
Did you know—February is Children’s Dental Health Month? Getting kids started with a healthy oral hygiene routine early in life can help support a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Ideally, children should have their first dental visit before their first birthday. If you’ve missed that milestone, it’s not too late to get started. We love to see kids of all ages in our Gilbert office! In the meantime, here are several ways you can encourage the habits that lead to good oral health.
A healthy oral hygiene routine starts with good communication.
Make healthy smiles a topic of everyday conversation. Look for opportunities to talk about healthy oral hygiene routines and other healthy habits and why they’re important.
Also, when discussing trips to the dentist, talk about it in positive terms. Kids will follow your lead. If they hear you expressing fear about visiting the dentist, they will follow suit. But if you talk about it as a regular part of staying healthy, they’ll pick up on those good vibes.
Support mouth-healthy eating habits at home.
Encourage healthy eating and drinking habits by engaging kids in the process of choosing and preparing healthy snacks and beverages. Create a “snack space” in the fridge and on the pantry shelf devoted to healthy choices such as apple slices, baby carrots, cheese cubes, crackers and kid-sized bottled water. Place them at kids’ eye level so they go for those choices first.
Take time to make brushing and flossing memorable.
Rather than rushing through brushing and flossing as just another chore, try adding a few extra minutes into the schedule to make it something special.
Keep a stash of a few toothbrushes and flavors of toothpaste, and let kids choose which ones to use. Play music or sing a special toothbrushing song.
When you’re finished brushing and flossing, take some silly selfies together to show off those clean, shiny teeth. It might be challenging to find the time in your busy schedule, but it will be worth it to create special memories and instill lifelong healthy oral hygiene habits.
Is it time for your family’s checkups? If it’s been six months or more since your kids’ last cleaning, or if you have an infant with a tooth emerging, let’s get them scheduled for appointments today.