Unless you homeschooled your children before the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably haven’t seen this much of them in a while. With the pandemic changing the way you live your life, there are many new things to get used to, one of which is the lack of regular dental appointments. The majority of dental practices are currently only seeing patients on an emergency basis.
Given that, now is the perfect time to foster good dental habits in your child. These tips from a children’s dentist in Highland Village will help you avoid the stress of an emergency visit and give your child helpful tools for years to come.
Make Brushing Fun
Brushing your teeth can often seem like a chore, even as an adult. It doesn’t have to feel the same way to your child. If you make brushing seem like a highlight of your child’s day, that excitement can carry on into adulthood.
Some recommended techniques are:
- Make a Game of It: Young children learn by watching you. Make a habit of brushing your teeth alongside your child and challenge them to see which of you can make their teeth the shiniest. Set a timer for two minutes and encourage them to make sure they’re covering each area of their mouth.
- Add a Video Component: Kids are becoming more and more tech-savvy. If your child just can’t seem to get off of your iPad, there are many YouTube channels that create content specifically made for kids to brush along to, complete with timers and games.
- Set Up a Reward System: Consider setting up a brushing calendar and monitoring how often and well they stick to their brushing routine. After a certain number of successful days, reward them with something small. This will incentivize them to continue developing good brushing habits.
Above all, encouraging and participating with them while they brush will do wonders for their attitude towards brushing. Treat it as something fun, not as a chore, and before long they’ll be doing it on their own.
Oral Health Outside of the Bathroom
Granted, brushing is just one of the components that affects our oral health. What we choose to eat and drink also plays a critical role. Fostering healthy eating habits when children are young sets them up for success.
Here are some activities you may consider doing with your child:
- Cook Together: Not only is cooking together a fun activity that can bring you closer, but it also allows you to choose a healthy dish. Choose a new dish to cook each week and teach them why what you’re making is good for them and their teeth.
- Encourage Healthy Snacking: Instead of giving them sugary or salty foods, give them healthy, fibrous foods. For example, apples, celery, and carrots can all help to scrape plaque off of your child’s teeth. In addition to this, limit sugary, fizzy drinks that can harm the enamel of your child’s developing teeth.
It can be fun to teach your child the value of good oral hygiene. Using it as a bonding experience, they’ll benefit in several ways. And, who knows? You may even rekindle some habits in yourself that have lapsed over the years.
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Thomas loves helping parents and children develop exceptional oral hygiene habits. A father of three himself, he knows the value of encouraging and taking an active role in children’s oral health. His commitment to continuing education ensures that his patients received the highest quality care available in dentistry. If you are a parent who would like to learn more ways they can promote their child’s dental health, you can call reach out to Highland Village Family Dentistry or call his office at (469) 444-6500.