Be a Model of Oral Health to Your Children

mother and daughter brushing teeth together

ALPHARETTA, GA – Your kids idolize you. They walk like you, and they talk like you. They watch your actions and take in your most benign facial expressions. Children often do as their parents do.

Many studies have shown correlations between a parent’s good oral health habits and their children’s. Take advantage of those little eyes studying you, and use the attention to better your child’s habits. Be a good role model for oral care and set the course for a lifetime of good oral health for your child. It won’t take much effort to get your child interested in caring for his or her teeth. Follow these simple tips to be a stellar dental health role model.

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.

Practice good oral health habits, and help implement the habits for your children. Let your children in on your morning and nighttime dental routines. Tell your kids why you floss and why you brush your teeth often. Tell your child that it’s important to keep the entire surface of the teeth clean, including the fronts, the backs, and the chewing surfaces. If they’re in an inquisitive phase, indulge their interest and answer their questions about why you’re taking such good care of your teeth.

Be consistent with your own tooth health routine, and make sure your kid is consistent, too. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll both find flossing and brushing enjoyable. You can even make oral care more fun by playing a two-minute song while you’re brushing your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day, and by playing a song you can ensure that you brush thoroughly. If you have adult braces, there are tons of options to floss your teeth more easily. Orthodontics LA specializes in adult braces and recommends water floss or tooth pickers. By keeping up this steady regimen, your kids will pick up these good habits once they get braces, too.

Choose balanced, tooth healthy foods and beverages.

Teach your children how to eat well. Avoid processed sugars as a family, and don’t regularly buy sodas, candies, or starchy foods. Drink water. Watch out for sodas; their acidity and sugar levels are harmful to your teeth. You may not let your child drink soda even though you’ve got Diet Coke in your to-go thermos.

Be as healthy as you’d want your child to be as an adult. Drink water, and eat vegetables and fruits to keep your mouth clean. Cheese, nuts, and lean meats can help fortify your teeth and bones. Your food choices do have an influence on your children.

Go to the dentist. Take your kid with you.

A study published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics examined the association between parents who seek oral care services and the likelihood that their children will seek similar services. The study found that children were more likely to have dental visits when the parents scheduled dental visits for themselves.

Schedule regular dental checkups and have your child in tow when you visit. Your child will learn that dental visits are pleasant and simple. When your children grow up they’ll be more likely to make their own oral health a priority and schedule regular dental appointments from your diligent example.

What do you at home to make sure your child brushes and flosses regularly?

© 2018 Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, an Alpharetta, Johns Creek, and Roswell dentist, is credited as sole source.