Did you know that the industry for dentists in the United States alone is worth more than $150 billion every single year? On top of that, there are almost 200,000 separate services offering dental services in the country. That just goes to show how much people value their oral health.
Of course, proper oral health starts outside of the dental office. People can greatly reduce their need for dental assistance by improving their oral health habits at home.
This is especially applicable in dentistry for children. The more the children learn how to take care of the health of their teeth, the less likely they are to need excessive dental care.
But what exactly should children understand about how to take care of their oral hygiene? Read on to learn all about the most important things you can teach your children to help them keep a healthy mouth!
Let Your Children See You Practicing Dental Hygiene
When children are young, they take most of their cues from their parents. After all, there aren’t that many other people for them to pay attention to.
When they get a little older, children start to mimic everything that they see their peers do. Unfortunately, they almost never see their peers taking care of their oral hygiene.
That makes it even more important that you provide the example for your children. If they see you taking care of your oral hygiene, they will take it for granted that it is something important and worthwhile to do.
You can also attempt to magnify this effect by showing them media that depicts their peers taking care of their oral hygiene as well. You can find that kind of media in books or in television programs.
Talk About Oral Hygiene
On top of that, you should be sensitive to the way that you talk about your oral hygiene. If you make it sound like an unpleasant chore, then that is probably how your children will think about it. You do not have to do anything over the top, but it might be worth speaking positively about your teeth cleaning process.
As long as your children are watching, you can also help them better understand how to perform the process. You can explain some of the basic rules about how to brush your teeth.
For example, you can explain how toothpaste works to harden enamel. You can also explain why the bristles on toothbrushes are a little bit rough so that they can remove plaque from teeth.
You can also explain the importance of brushing in little circles rather than in a back-and-forth motion.
Involve Your Children in the Preparation Process
Of course, children also like to feel like they have a certain amount of control. It can go a long way if you can make them a part of the preparation process for oral hygiene.
For example, you can let your child pick out their own toothbrush. While they are considering their different options, you can ask them which one they think will be best for cleaning their teeth.
This will help them think in terms of what they are going to do with her toothbrush. You could also let them pick out a toothpaste. Just make sure that the toothpaste has fluoride!
Give Them Oral Hygiene Games
One of the most powerful ways to get people to do something themselves is to put them in a position to teach others why it is important to do. Children may not often be in a position to teach, but they do often play games where they pretend to teach.
You might encourage your child to play a game with a stuffed animal. Invite them to teach their stuffed animal about the importance of brushing and how to do it correctly. By teaching these things your child will have the importance of them reinforced in their own mind.
Read Books About Visiting the Pediatric Dentist
There are plenty of books out there that address the issue of children visiting the dentist. Reading these books to your child can help them understand that this is a normal process. It can also model what they should expect at the dentist.
However, be careful to avoid books that give your children the wrong ideas. If your child is already afraid of going to the dentist, then a book that talks about that fear might be a good choice. But if your child does not think that there is any reason for them to be afraid to go to the dentist, you might want to avoid a book that introduces that fear to them.
Start Simply at First
Make sure to add extra requirements to your children’s oral hygiene health very slowly. Wait until they have mastered what you have already taught them before adding more to their plate.
That means that it might be worth letting them brush poorly while you are helping them develop the habit of brushing at all. Once they are good at brushing at all, you can move on to teach them to brush more effectively.
Only once they have mastered that does it make sense to move on to flossing and other oral hygiene tips you might get from a kids’ dentist.
Many people never teach their children anything more about their oral health other than basic brushing of their teeth. Brushing teeth is the single most powerful way to improve oral health, but it is only a foundation.
The more that you teach your child about how to take care of their teeth, the more likely they are to grow up with a healthy mouth that does not require constant dental attention.
Understand How to Teach Dentistry for Children
We hope that some of the ideas in this brief article about how to teach dentistry for children have been helpful to you. To learn more about how to teach proper oral hygiene to your children or to find dental experts that can help you with their oral health, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!