The American Dental Association has designated February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. You can start your child on a lifetime of good habits with tips to get kids to brush and floss regularly.
1. Involve your child when purchasing dental health products.
Children are naturally curious. Take him with you when you shop for a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Explain to him the reason you have chosen one particular brand or style over others. He will learn the reasons products are different, and how to make the right choices.
2. Make routine flossing and brushing a game.
There is no reason dental care cannot be fun. One idea is to use an old-fashioned egg timer. When the timer shows the length of time it takes to brush and floss, it will encourage him to do a good job.
A second approach is to use a chart with reward stickers. Each time he completes his dental care routine, place a sticker on the chart. When the chart is filled with stickers, he will be proud of his accomplishment.
3. Dental visits can be a learning experience.
You do not have to be the only person to teach your child dental health habits. Encourage learning at the dentist’s office, too. The dentist can demonstrate proper brushing and flossing methods, and answer your child’s questions about dental care.
4. Help your child understand the need for routine care.
You can teach your child to associate other habits with dental habits. It can include getting dressed in the morning, changing into pajamas at night, and eating meals and snacks. He can learn at an early age that each of these activities means taking the time to brush and floss.
5. Be open to your child’s questions.
Kids want to know why brushing and flossing is necessary. Take time to explain why good habits are important. Your child will be more likely to develop good habits when he understands the benefits.
Your child can learn to brush and floss regularly, and avoid more serious oral health issues later in life.