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Mother and daughter brushing teeth

Tips for Inspiring Good Dental Health Habits in Your Kids

Remember when you were a kid? Some chores and habits came harder than others. For many kids, understanding the importance of good dental health is one of those. Just as kids may struggle to understand why they need to pick up their toys or go to bed at a designated time every evening, many children struggle to brush and floss as they should. Fortunately, there are easy ways to inspire good dental health habits in your kids, and we’ve explored a few of our favorites below. Let’s get to it!

Set a good example when they are young. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, kids watch and emulate their parents, especially when they are very young. It’s a good idea to set a good example by letting them see you take good care of your teeth, make regular visits to your Kansas City family dentist, and so on.

Normalize the process. Along with setting a good example, you should also show your kids that taking good care of their dental health is nothing to dread or be scared of. If you hate going to the dentist or flossing your teeth, your kids will probably assume it’s an unpleasant task. Show them that it’s a normal part of everyday life and nothing to fear.

Have them sit down. Many kids struggle to stand still while brushing their teeth for two whole minutes. That’s okay, though. They don’t have to stand! Give them a chair in the bathroom and let them sit while they brush their teeth.

Supervise, but in a good way! Supervision is about more than keeping an eye on them to ensure that they do a good job and brush the right way. It’s about being there to help them and answer any questions they might have. Are they using the right amount of toothpaste? Are they rinsing properly? Do they need help with flossing? Being there to help while still letting them feel trusted is key.

Give them plenty of praise. This may be the most important tip on this list. Not only does it reinforce good behavior, it shows your children that you value and approve of their efforts. Kids respond well to positive reinforcement like this, and you can even implement a reward system using stickers on a chart to track when they brush and floss as they should. Just don’t reward them with candy, for obvious reasons.

Make it a family affair. When you go to visit your Kansas City family dentist for cleanings and exams, why not do it together? When you share the experience, it will be less strange or intimidating for young children, and they may even find themselves enjoying the trip!

Support healthy eating habits. Kids will be kids, and they’ll always have a few sweet treats in their diet. That’s okay, but it can help a lot if you provide them with plenty of healthy options and try to keep sugary snacks to a minimum. After all, diets high in sugar can lead to tooth decay and cavities in pretty short order. Remember, candy and other sweets aren’t the only culprits. Many sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices are loaded with sugar, so encourage your kids to drink plenty of water.

At Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, MO, we’re here to treat every member of your family, from the youngest to the oldest, with everything from cosmetic dentistry to dental implants and even sleep apnea treatments. To schedule your next appointment, just give us a call at (816) 763-8400 or click here today!