You give your kids candy and chocolate—it’s okay! Most parents do. But you can give them something else, too: Good dental habits.
If you lead by example and show that you care about your family’s dental health, you can set your kids up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. It doesn’t take that much effort, either! Here are five dental health habits you can easily model for your kids. Even preschoolers will pay attention when they see you do these.
1. Brush Twice a Day
Proper brushing two times a day with fluoride toothpaste can prevent most dental problems. Establish a routine and brush your teeth alongside your kids in the morning and before bed. Show them the correct techniques and explain why regular brushing is crucial for your family’s dental health. For younger kids, consistency is key. Make it a fun experience by coming up with a special song or letting your kids choose their own special toothbrushes at the store.
2. Floss Regularly
Flossing is the best way to remove remaining food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Once your kids have enough teeth that they start to touch one another, it’s time you teach them how to properly floss. If you make it a habit, you’ll ensure your kids’ teeth stay healthy and cavity-free.
3. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash should be the last step in your family’s dental health to remove any food particles left after brushing and flossing. A good mouthwash can prevent cavities in your children’s teeth, fix bad breath, and more.
Of course, kids should be old enough to know how to swish a liquid and spit it out without swallowing. We recommend beginning mouthwash at age six. Kids might not like the strong taste of adult mouthwashes, but you can find milder, kid-friendly flavors at most big box stores and pharmacies.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy, balanced diet away from artificial sugars and processed foods is a good habit for the dental health of your entire family. Whether you have preschoolers or teenagers, it’s always the right time to look at your family’s diet.
Avoid putting sodas and cookies in your grocery cart. Choose fruits and vegetables instead. Drink lots of water and encourage your kids to do so as well. Include lean meats and nuts in your cooking to improve your family’s dental health and give your kids the energy to have fun.
5. Go to the Dentist Every Six Months
Regular dental checkups are a sure way to keep your mouth and your children’s mouths healthy. The dentist will keep your children’s teeth in check with preventative services and fix any issues with restorative dental care. Make this a pleasant experience by choosing a kid-friendly office and get your kids used to these regular visits. Studies show that parents who do this encourage their kids to continue the habit of seeing a dentist when they grow up.
Good Habits, Healthy Smiles
Taking care of your family’s dental health by putting in the time and teaching your kids these habits pays off in the future when they smile with a full set of natural, healthy teeth. If you’re having difficulty building these dental health habits in your preschoolers, you can get help from Dr. DeLisle. Here at Children’s Dentistry, we treat kids from all over Western Montana. We’re even open on Saturdays to make it more convenient for busy parents. So contact us now and schedule your appointment. We can’t wait to hear from you!