Encouraging Dental Hygiene
As a parent, one of the hardest things to do is teach
your little one the importance of taking care of their body – including their
teeth! To a hyperactive, fun loving child, looking after their teeth is pretty
low on their list of priorities (right beneath eating all their vegetables and
sleeping when they’re told). But fear not brave parent, with our top tips your little one will have the brightest smile on the playground in no time.
1) Lead by example
Children love to copy what their parents are doing, so lead by example with dental care! Bring them into the bathroom with you as you brush your teeth and once they’ve got the general idea of it, you can even let them brush your teeth whilst you brush theirs (this is maybe best before bed, when you don't mind having toothpaste all over your face/outfit/hair).
Giving your little ones an
incentive to continue brushing their teeth can do wonders for keeping them focused
on brushing. Set up some type of reward system – e.g, brushing teeth twice a
day for a week results in a prize! (Although you might want to think carefully about what that prize consists of, rewarding tooth-brushing with sweets is obviously a bit counterproductive). This will encourage continuous
brushing which is vital to maintaining good dental hygiene.
3) Cook the right things
Dental hygiene and health isn’t
just about brushing though! Keeping your children away from the sugar is vital
in maintaining good, healthy teeth (sweets, fizzy drinks, dried fruit = bad. Water, milk, raw fruit and veg, toast, rice cakes, plain popcorn = good). Make sure you cook sensibly and encourage
your child to eat well. The NHS website has a really handy guide if you're looking for more info.
4) Make it a game
Children learn best when they're having fun, so try making brushing teeth into a game. Try a simple 'who can brush the longest?', or try playing a song and challenge your little on to keep brushing until it finishes. Making the process as exciting as possible will help embed dental care as a standard part of your child's everyday routine, and hopefully make them a bit more eager to reach for the toothbrush.