How To Be a Good Teeth Role Model
Encouraging your kids to have healthy dental habits begins with you setting a good example. Fortunately, it’s simple to develop good oral health care routines that work for both parents and children.
Develop Family Dental Care Habits
Daily brushing and flossing is essential for healthy teeth, and seeing you brush and floss twice daily can encourage children to brush as well. Demonstrate exactly how you brush instead of relying on your kids to figure it out on their own. Seeing how thorough you are with your own brushing can help your children understand how long they should brush and remind them to scrub every tooth. Use tools that make brushing and flossing easier, such as electric toothbrushes, timers and floss threaders, to show kids that dental care isn’t difficult. For younger children, brushing together with mom or dad helps establish a regular habit and teaches good techniques.
Demonstrate the Importance of Dental Care
Prioritize your own dental care so your children know how important oral health is. Don’t wait to see a dentist if there’s a potential problem, and schedule regular cleanings to prevent major issues. By showing that you care about the health of your mouth and teeth, you’re showing that your children should also care about their teeth. When you talk about visits to the dentist, use positive language so kids aren’t nervous when it’s their turn.
Teach Healthy Eating for Healthy Teeth
Focus on healthy, tooth-friendly snacks and meals in your household. If you avoid sugary snacks and sweet drinks, younger family members are likely to follow your lead. Keep candy, sodas, ice cream, juice and other cavity-inducing foods out of the house to prevent mindless snacking. Serve water with meals and throughout the day to keep your kids hydrated so they don’t choose sticky, sweet beverages that can damage their teeth.
Being a good role model creates more good role models. Your kid can have a positive impact on his or her friends, and eventually their own children. It’s a domino effect! But healthier.