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How To Encourage Good Dental Habits in Kids

February 14, 2022 ABC Children's Dentistry

If you are concerned that your little ones aren’t developing good dental habits, there is no reason to worry!  Fostering great dental health in kids is actually quite simple if you follow the right process consistently.  Here are some tips from ABC Dental on creating the right mindset and encouraging good dental habits in kids that will last a lifetime!

  • Involve children in their dental health. When you involve kids in their dental health, it becomes their own habit rather than yours.  Start by letting kids pick out their own toothbrushes.  Perhaps there is one with a favorite character that they like.  Similarly, try to choose toothpaste in a flavor that your kids like.  If mint is too strong, many companies make good fruit-flavored toothpaste.  Be sure that whatever toothpaste your child likes, it contains sodium fluoride, which helps harden tooth enamel and makes it stronger.  When kids can pick out their own dental supplies, they are much more likely to want to use them.
  • Make toothbrushing time fun. All too often, brushing teeth is something that children are “made” to do rather than “allowed” to do.  You can do a great deal to make toothbrushing fun, including singing a favorite song as a way of timing their brushing, reading them stories or watching videos about brushing teeth, and playing games with rewards for getting their teeth brushed every morning and evening.  When you make toothbrushing time fun, your kids will naturally want to participate.
  • Set a good example. It may be wise, especially for younger children, to brush your teeth along with them.  You can then demonstrate good brushing habits and also show your children that you take dental health seriously.  When you set a good example, your children are far more likely to follow suit.
  • Support healthy eating choices. It may not be much fun to deny your kids sweets and junk food, but it is important for them to see you making good food choices and encouraging them to do the same.  Instead of sweets, offer fruit.  Instead of sticky cereal, try flavored oatmeal.  There are many ways you can encourage your children to make better food choices that will impact their dental health.  Of course, an occasional treat is fine, but be sure they understand that brushing after eating sweets is a great way to minimize tooth damage.
  • Schedule regular dental appointments. It is very important for you to schedule children’s dental appointments and prioritize them in your calendar.  It may help to schedule everyone’s appointments on the same day; this allows you to have all the children at the dentist’s office at once!  Finding a good family dentist should be a top priority, as well.  Be sure to choose someone who works well with your children and makes their needs important.

At ABC Children’s Dentistry, we work with families to help children have the best possible dental health.  We focus on all aspects of dental treatment for children.  Call us today to book your child’s next appointment and learn how easy it can be to motivate children to have strong, beautiful smiles!