For parents the health and safety of our children is always going to be paramount. However, there are some things which are harder to make your little ones aware of than others, and right at the top of this list is the importance of looking after their teeth. Oral hygiene has been slowly deteriorating for many years and it is now estimated than around 50% of people in the UK don’t regularly visit a dentist.
In order to safeguard the future of our children’s smiles it is vital that we make them aware of how important oral health is from an early age. The decisions we make in the early years of our lives may come back to haunt us as we get older, and so it may not seem important to them at the moment but stressing the importance of teeth care to your children could lead to them thanking you in later life.
But how do you go about getting them into a regular oral health routine?
Educate Them –
As with most things, the best way to get children interested in cleaning their teeth is to help them understand it through education. If you teach your children the importance of brushing on a regular basis and the impacts of not doing this then they are more likely to want to do it of their own accord. Learning comes naturally at an early age so the more you can teach them now the better position they will be in when they grow up.
Join In –
Children are far more likely to do something, and enjoy doing it, if you do it with them. By making it a big event in your house they are more likely to remember to do it and so this can help if you are not there for whatever reason. Children look up to their parents as role models and so if you set a good example for them by having healthy teeth they will be more inclined to do the same.
Register Them With A Dentist Early –
Some parents believe that they don’t need to register their child with a dentist until they have a full set of teeth or they reach a certain age, but it is best to do this as soon as teeth start to emerge. By visiting a dentist regularly from an early age they can avoid any problems and learn that having healthy teeth means that a visit to the dentist is far less scary. They can also start to build a relationship with the dentist so that they are less afraid of this experience as they get older.
It’s also good if parents try not to show fear around their own trips to the dentist as this could rub off on the children and mean they are less likely to want to go in the future.
Make It Fun –
There are many ways that you can make the teeth cleaning process fun and this will mean children are less likely to skip this daily ritual. You can sing songs whilst you are brushing, you can let them have tooth care products which are adorned with their favourite characters or you can even make fun games up which will inspire kids to create an affinity with cleaning their teeth.
Make A Point Of Eating Healthy Foods –
Children are naturally granted the odd treat of having something sweet every now and again, but to help your children keep their teeth both pearly and white you should look to make healthy foods more fun. Always have a fruit bowl on the table and when they complain about being hungry encourage them to delve into the fruit bowl instead of the biscuit tin.
There are also plenty of ways in which you can incorporate healthy foods into their evening meal in fun and exciting ways. This could be by giving your meals funny names or by fantasizing that fruit and veg are mysterious substances with many hidden properties (this is obviously true in most cases). If children grow up around fruit and veg they are more likely to think more about integrating it into their diet as they get older.
Chris Mayhew has always prided himself on having great oral health and would want his children to do the same. He would recommend Smilecare, a dental surgery in Plymouth, to anyone looking for a trusted cosmetic dentist.