How To Promote Healthy Levels of Oral Hygiene in Your Family
Oral hygiene is once of the basic components of lifelong health, but it is often overlooked and underestimated in the face of more serious and immediate health concerns. We all know how important oral health is, but it is easy to forget that our children may not. Worse, it can be difficult to know how to properly present the concepts of oral hygiene to young children who may resent them. Unfortunately, if you do not instill these concepts when your children are young, you may find that they never accept them.
Brush Early, Brush Often
The best way to tackle oral hygiene concepts is to make them a part of daily life. You need to take the two-pronged approach of instilling the habits while your children are young and explaining them when they are old enough to ask questions. The former will allow your children to become accustomed to the habits necessary to help them grow strong, healthy teeth and take care of them. The latter will help you educate your children about the meaning and importance of the habits you are so carefully instilling, encouraging them to continue practicing oral hygiene when they are old enough to decide the matter for themselves.
Oral Health is a Family Affair
You cannot begin to early when it comes to taking care of your children's teeth. Dental problems can occur even before your child's first teeth come in and though they will 'lose' their baby teeth and grow a permanent set, it is important to begin fostering good habits before these final teeth make their appearance. The best step that you can take to teach your child the importance of good dental hygiene is to model it for them.
Let your child see you brushing and caring for your teeth and he or she will eventually want to get in on the action. You can encourage this by allowing them to 'help' brush and then buying your child their own toothbrush and helping them when they ask for it.
Brushing Shouldn't Be a Chore
Once your child is old enough to be brushing regularly the bloom of being able to do it themselves may begin to rub off. Do what you can to ensure that the regular routine of dental hygiene does not become a chore, however. There are several ways to do this. Start by making sure that your child has appropriate and fun tools for brushing. He or she should be using a child-friendly toothpaste, as many children do not like the strong mint flavor of adult pastes, and since toothbrushes need to be replaced regularly, make sure that your child likes the one that he or she uses.
Try to engage your child on the subject of oral hygiene as well. Make them a willing participant in guarding their teeth rather than insisting on their obedience when it is time to brush. You can do this by playing games or singing songs that help to remind them of the importance of what they are doing when they take care of their teeth.