Teaching kids the importance of daily brushing, flossing and oral care is essential for their dental health. The team at Studio32 Orthodontics, a Gainesville orthodontist, shares these tips to help you encourage healthy dental habits in children!
Schedule & Attend Routine Check-Ups
Scheduling and attending regular orthodontic appointments is a great opportunity to stress good dental care while familiarizing your child to the dentist and concept of regular check-ups. Your child will also learn how attending regular appointments keeps them on track with their orthodontist treatment plan. If you have multiple children in orthodontics (or even yourself), practice oral care and attend your appointments together as scheduled — making appointments a good experience can ease nerves.
Encourage Kids To Ask Questions About Their Teeth
Kids are naturally inquisitive, so encouraging them to ask questions is a good way to build a foundation of dental knowledge. Open up the conversation by directly asking how the child’s mouth and/or teeth feel — if they recently had an adjustment to their braces or Invisalign, then a little discomfort is possible. Explain why the orthodontic adjustment or discomfort is occurring, how it’s a part of the treatment plan and what your child can do to further their dental care. Then, allow your child to ask any questions they may have — this is important to do both at home and with your orthodontist.
Let Kids Choose Their Toothbrush & Toothpaste
There is a wide variety of children’s toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental products to choose from. So, why not allow your child to choose what they like? Allowing kids to make decisions and be involved about their oral health at a young age is a great way to educate and encourage oral care.
Create A Reward System
Drum up excitement by creating a reward system for practicing good oral hygiene daily. Let your child use stamps and stickers to mark their chart every time they brush their teeth, floss, or appointment with their dentist or orthodontist. Rewards can be set at various intervals, such as after earning a set amount of stickers, to encourage your kids to keep up the good work!
Share Teeth-Friendly Snacks
Snacks such as cheese, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and plain yogurt are great foods to further your child’s dental health. Encourage kids to suggest new snack ideas and to help prepare snack packs for busy days. Understanding which foods are good options for teeth or orthodontics versus ones that are not (think popcorn, gum or sugary foods) further establishes healthy habits.