Some Extra Dental Tips for Parents
Healthy eating and good dental hygiene are the keys to a bright smile and a healthy set of teeth, so teach your children to take care of their teeth as early as possible. Brush their teeth for them the second they erupt, so that as they grow, the habit feels natural to them.
Buy the right toothbrush
As your kids get older, they’ll watch you brush and want to get in on the action. At this point, it’s still a game to them, so while they’re still excited and impressionable, teach them the right technique. You can hold their hands while they brush, guiding the brush into the correct angles so they can see and feel how it’s done.
After a while, brushing may become a chore they aim to avoid – mostly because it signals bedtime (or in the morning, get-out-of-bed time). At this point, you can use their habits against them. You already know their favourite colour or cartoon character, so buy a brush with that theme. You can also make up a tooth-brushing song or play some tooth-brushing music to pass the time. There are even two-minute podcasts for this exact purpose.
Break sugar habits before they begin
We’ve heard of parents who serve their kids porridge or cereal without added sugar. This may seem cruel and gag-inducing, but it’s a very neat trick. If your kids have never had added sugar in their snacks, then they don’t know what they’re missing – at least until they eat their first popsicle at a play date, at school, or at grandmas.
Still, if you limit fizzy drinks and sugary snacks from an early age, your children are more likely to stick to healthy eating habits. Instead, you can give your kids crunchy snacks with natural sugar, like carrots, apples, or sugarcane. You can also feed them moderate amounts of nuts and cheese as a substitute for cake and cookie snacks between meals.
Teach them flossing early
The main reason so many adults are averse to flossing is that the first time they tried it, they did it wrong, and it hurt. There’s nothing like a bloody mouth to put you off dental hygiene. So, as a parent, you first need to learn the right technique. Watch a YouTube video or swing by our dental clinic in Parramatta, and we’ll walk you through it.
Once you’re familiar with the technique, teach it to your kids as soon as they start developing and improving their manual skills. Show them how to floss while you’re showing them how to brush, so that the two habits are forever linked in their psyche. It only takes a few minutes, and it will add years to the lifespans of their (full set of) teeth.
For dental tips that benefit both you and your kids, see any one of our great dentists at Dental Avenue Parramatta today on 02 8004 0055.
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