Parents are a huge part of orthodontic care for children, and one of your chief responsibilities as the adult in the house is keeping your kids diligent on their brushing habits. As the experts at Redwood Orthodontics can tell you, nothing can lead to years of dental issues as quickly as early lapses in brushing habits.
Luckily, especially for younger children who often raise the biggest ruckus when it comes time to brush, there are several simple tactics you can employ to help keep your kids on the right track.
Personalize the Experience
If your kids feel like they have ownership over the process, they’ll be more enthusiastic. You can help them specially design everything from their toothbrush to their mirror, and help turn their experience from a chore into something they look forward to.
Some parents of very young children find that letting their kids brush parents’ teeth is a great way to show them that there’s nothing dangerous or wrong with doing it, and remove any nerves they may have. Anything like this that helps them own the experience and feel like it’s theirs will help their willingness.
Set the Tone
Where do you think your kids’ primary behavioral cues come from? That’s right, it’s from you. If you set an example of diligence with teeth-brushing, they’re likely to fall into the same pattern. If you’re lazy and skip brushings, even if you think they’re too young to notice, it could become the norm for them and be difficult to adjust.
Some kids will need a little extra motivation, and little activities or distractions are usually the way to go. Maybe you put on their favorite show or read their favorite book – maybe these become nightly activities that can’t happen until they’ve brushed for the right amount of time. You can also sing or play music, or any other activity that helps split their focus and move the process along.
No matter what, stay patient with your children. They may need your help with brushing for several years, and you may have to repeatedly help them with techniques or brushing time. Brushing is vital for their dental health moving forward, though, and you can’t let them – or more importantly yourself – get discouraged and skip any steps.
At Redwood Orthodontics, we can offer further suggestions and assistance on this or any of our other child dental services, such as braces. We’re standing by to assist you today.