Having good oral hygiene habits make a big difference in overall tooth health, so it’s crucial to understand how to build good habits when cleaning your teeth. Studies show that children who learn how to properly take care of their teeth at an early age have better overall oral health in their lives.
Here are a few suggestions we’ve found that may assist in building good habits:
1. Brush Together
Children are impressionable, so brushing your teeth at the same time with them while will reinforce regular brushing and also provide a good example of proper care techniques. This will also eliminate the need for the “breath test” of whether or not your child actually brushed or not.
2. Electric Toothbrushes
As with all new things, there will be an initial “wow” factor” with an electric toothbrush—remember that simply having a shiny, high-tech, toothbrush won’t necessarily be a reason to keep using it.
A fun idea to incorporate an electric toothbrush into your child’s brushing habits is to have it be a goal that they work towards. Create a checklist of good home care habits, like flossing, brushing twice a day, etc. When they’ve achieved a certain number of completions of this, then they will have earned an electric toothbrush.
3. Make it Fun
Even now, how much fun is it to brush our teeth? Not usually the highlight of our day, but we understand its value and are happy to spend the small amount of time it takes to keep our mouths clean. While this knowledge may be enough of a motivating factor for us, it doesn’t always work best with children.
“Gamification” can be a valuable tool here. There are a many methods of making home dental care into a fun game, but the main concept is that you can make proper tooth cleaning a fun habit to build. An Indiegogo campaign, Grush, is a good example of how brushing your teeth can be “gamified.”
As with anything, there isn’t a universal answer to this question, and the above are only suggestions for building better home care habits for kids. The best way to have a healthy mouth is to be consistent with your care, whatever method you use to keep it up.
And as always, we highly recommend visiting your dentist at least every 6 months for a checkup. Have you scheduled your next appointment? If not, contact the Central Dental location nearest you or give us a call at 501-225-1577.