As a parent, you need all the shortcuts you can get. It’s tough (nevermind annoying) to constantly remind your kids to brush their teeth. No matter their age, their dental health is important. That’s why you need to call us today at 574-208-5668 and schedule dental exams and dental cleanings for everyone in your family. Dr. Hurcomb and our team know how to make a dental visit great for your children.
Why Good Habits At Home Are Needed
Yes, you still have to bring your children to our South Bend, IN dental office every six months for dental cleanings and dental exams. However, that doesn’t mean you can skimp on taking care of teeth and gums at home.
Dentistry requires teamwork to be effective. That means your kids need to do their part as well. Children are often busy, overwhelmed by the world and distracted by games, TV, and more. But you can’t be on them every hour of every day. If your children have good dental habits, they can take care of things by themselves. That will only help them and you.
Setting Up Good Dental Habits For Your Kids
Here are some tips for instilling good dental habits in your children. It’s best to start when they’re young, but this can work for children of any age.
– Treat fruit juice and diet soda as rare treats
You know better than to give your kids lots of regular soda because all that sugar will lead to cavities. However, fruit juice often has around the same amount of sugar as soda. Plus, it’s very acidic. Those acids will erode your children’s enamel.
Diet soda is better because there is no sugar, but all soda is highly acidic. It’s what gives soda a tangy flavor that balances the sweetness (natural or artificial). As with fruit juice, that acid can damage your kids’ teeth.
It’s hard to ban these entirely, especially because juice has vitamins. Instead, reframe these as treats for special occasions. Do this long enough, and your children can view fruit juice and diet soda as something they should only have on occasion.
– Schedule your dental exam and dental cleaning appointments with your kids’.
Kids are more aware than many adults realize. They watch you to see what you do, then they copy it. Sometimes, kids don’t even realize they’re doing this. If you tell them they need dental exams and dental cleanings every six months, they’re going to watch if you do it too.
That’s why you should call us today at 574-208-5668 and make appointments for you and your children together. By showing them you’re taking dental care seriously, they will be more likely to do the same when they get older.
– Let your children see you brushing and flossing sometimes.
Along the same lines, you tell your kids that brushing and flossing at night needs to be done. You might even check to see if their toothbrush is wet. But if they never see you taking care of your teeth, they can easily assume brushing and flossing is not what adults do. And how soon do kids want to act like a grown-up?
You don’t have to make a big production out of it. Just let your kids see you brushing and flossing on occasion. This helps them realize such dental care really is important, increasing the odds they’ll brush and floss like you want them to.
– Bring your kids to the store so they can pick out their toothbrush.
Children rarely have control over their lives, especially younger ones. They’re always being told what to do. That’s necessary, but it means any chance to have some control is welcomed and powerful.
If you want to increase the chance your kids will brush without being told, take them to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrush. Guide them to ones with smaller heads and soft bristles, but otherwise, leave them to pick one on their own.
– Stop using tobacco products.
This one is tough, but it’s very important. Tobacco stains your teeth, increases your risk of gum disease, makes cavities more likely, and leads to oral cancer. Even if you sneak outside to grab a quick smoke, your children know what you’re doing. Monkey see, monkey do. When they know you use tobacco, they’re more likely to use it themselves.
By giving up tobacco now, you show your children that tobacco isn’t not worth it. That makes it more likely your children won’t smoke or chew later in life, which is a huge benefit to their dental health.
Call us TODAY at 574-208-5668 or make an appointment online to schedule dental cleanings and dental exams for your whole family. Then follow these tips so your children grow up with great dental habits.