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5 Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Dental Habits

November 10, 2017

As a parent, trying to get your children to understand dental health and develop good teeth cleaning habits can be really difficult. After all, it’s estimated that 30-40 million Americans avoid the dentist every year because of dental phobias and anxieties, and those are just the numbers for adults!

The best way to ensure your child gets the best dental care starts with building up healthy habits at home. There are some tips and tricks that we at Cannon Park believe have stood the test of time.

Here’s 5 easy ways to teach your kids healthy dental habits!

Start Them Young

Your child should have their first dentist appointment no later than 6 months after their first baby tooth has erupted. If you can’t make it to see us at Cannon Park, be sure that you research kid friendly dentists in your area.

When taking them to the dentist the first time it’s very important that you show your child that the dentist office is a good place to be! If you have fears yourself of the dentist, try not to convey them to your child, and be as confident and collected as possible.

Lead the Way

This may seem obvious, but the easiest way to teach your children to maintain a healthy mouth is to be an example for them. At least once a day, get the kids together in one bathroom and have everyone line up next to you facing the mirror so you can watch each other brush your teeth! Make a little morning or evening ritual out of it.

Having a nightly or morning routine that they can count on everyday is great way to foster healthy dental habits, bring your family together, and keep you accountable, too!

Get Hands On

Trying to get your children to understand the concept of cavities can seem daunting, but using a visual aid can really help get the message across. Get together some of your children’s favorite drinks, juices and sodas and have them tell you how many grams of sugar are in it. Next, have your child help you measure out that much sugar and place it in a sandwich bag in front of the drink.

Once you’ve done this for all the drinks, explain to your child how sugar can create cavities and why it’s important to brush consistently. This visual aid is sure to stick in their minds.

Play a Game

Have your children cut out pictures of different foods from newspapers or magazines. Line up all the photos and play a game of “would your teeth rather.” Ask them if their teeth would rather have them eat one item or another and ask them to explain why.

With this game, you can get a gauge what your child views as healthy and unhealthy. From there you can talk to them about why it’s important to choose healthy foods for your teeth.

Expose the Plaque

One night after your children have brushed their teeth, have them use a plaque revealing product (tablets or mouth rinse can be found at most drugstores). It will highlight places where plaque and tartar are built up and show you where your children need to brush more.

Emphasize to your kids that brushing with circular motions is more important than scrubbing at the teeth harder. This is a great activity for you as their parent to participate in too!

If you give these activities a try, we’d love to see! Post a photo to Facebook of you doing one of these activities and tag us at Cannon Park Dental. We want to share our favorites!

If you or your child are nervous about dentists, give us a call. Cannon Park is a family dentistry practice, and we do our best to ensure both you and your little ones feel as safe as possible visiting our office.

Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment. You can reach us online or at 843-723-5346.

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