Three Tips For Effectively Educating Your Child About Oral Hygiene

Good oral health starts with education. Teaching your children the importance of taking care of their teeth helps ensure good oral hygiene. The problem is many parents don't know where to start, or find that getting children to cooperate with good oral hygiene habits is a struggle. To help your child along, here are three tips to make education your child about oral health more effective.

Making Healthy Food Choices

Because sugary foods like candy, sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks like cookies increase the risk for cavities, the best place to start with oral health education is teaching your child about making well-balanced food choices. Eating broccoli isn't particularly fun for most children and you may have a picky eater who dislikes vegetables, for example. So involve your child in the process of buying healthy food and preparing it for meals. Take your children to the grocery store with you and let them fill their own small baskets, so that they learn about choosing nutritious foods. The more familiar and empowered they feel, the better. Save sweet foods as a once-in-awhile treat and include it with a meal, instead of stand alone, since this reduces the impact on their teeth, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Tooth Brushing

Teaching your children the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day can be frustrating if they're resistant. Get creative by purchasing a toothbrush that's fun. It may have a handle in the shape of their favorite cartoon character, making it more attractive to them. Create fun incentives, like a chart that keeps track of tooth brushing. Give your children a star for each time they brush their teeth and once they reach a certain amount of stars, provide an age-appropriate reward. In addition, show your children educational videos about tooth brushing that include character's that they're familiar with.

Going to the Dentist

Brushing at home and choosing a well-balanced diet is only part of good oral hygiene. Partnering with a pediatric dentist to keep your child's teeth healthy and reduce the risk of dental problems is crucial. However, many children despise going to the dentist. One of the best ways to reduce your children's anxiety is to educate them on what to expect at the dentist and why dental visits are important. When children know what to expect, it relieves anxiety. Look for children's books that have stories about dental visits. A picture book makes for a great visual reference of what to expect. Make a fun day out of dental visit day by taking your child some place fun before the appointment, like a park. This way your child associates going to the dentist with things that are enjoyable.

For more information contact a dentist like Edwardsville Family Dentist.