Want to encourage your kids to develop good oral health habits? Check out these tips from Dr. Khuong Nguyen!
Many parents strive to instill good habits in their children and the lessons taught today could last a lifetime. And when it comes to healthy habits, developing great oral hygiene is vital and could impact your child’s quality of life for years to come. That’s why pediatric dentist Dr. Khuong Nguyen is going to share some tips for encouraging good dental habits.
“Teaching children good dental habits helps ensure that they not only enjoy good oral health while they grow up but throughout life,” Dr. Khuong Nguyen says. “It’s smart to closely consider how you can encourage good dental health.”
Many parents know that their children should brush at least twice a day. Kids should also brush their teeth for two minutes each time. If your children only brush their teeth for say twenty seconds, they’ll likely end up suffering from poor oral health. Similarly, kids should floss each day.
Of course, knowing how often and long kids (and adults!) should brush their teeth is one thing, but actually getting them to do so is another. So how can you get your kids to brush their teeth thoroughly and regularly?
“Positive reinforcement is very important, especially with kids,” Dr. Khuong Nguyen notes. “Negative reinforcement is often counterproductive. If you make brushing your teeth seem like a chore or you constantly yell at your kids, demanding that they brush their teeth, they may develop negative associations.”
Positive associations, on the other hand, can go a long way. Make sure you compliment young children, for example, after they brush their teeth. Simply telling your kids that you’re proud of them is often enough to develop positive associations with activities, such as flossing and toothbrushing.
Dr. Khuong Nguyen Advises Parents To Get The Right Tools
Another big thing that helps is having the right tools on hand. These days, people have more options when it comes to toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, and various other implements. You can often buy products that are designed specifically for children. Often, it’s wise to buy kid-oriented products.
“Kids often have a stronger sense of taste than adults,” Dr. Khuong Nguyen points out. “This means that a mint toothpaste designed for adults can be overwhelming. A toothpaste flavored specifically for kids will encourage them to brush their teeth and also to brush their teeth for a longer period of time.”
If you use minty adult toothpaste, your kids might only brush their teeth for a short time. On the other hand, a watermelon or bubblegum-flavored toothpaste might be more amenable to a child’s taste buds. And thus, they may end up brushing their teeth more regularly and for longer periods.
Fortunately, you can find fruit-flavored and gentle mint toothpaste designed specifically for kids. You can also provide electric toothbrushes that connect to apps that help kids know how long they should brush their teeth. Likewise, toothbrushes that feature your child’s favorite heroes or cartoon characters could also encourage them to brush.