Teaching your child healthy personal hygiene habits early in life is essential and has a direct impact on the child’s health throughout adulthood. While baby teeth will inevitably fall out and be replaced by permanent adult teeth, now is the time to teach your child how to properly care for his or her teeth and gums and to instill healthy habits. These important steps are ideal for showing toddlers effective oral hygiene steps and strategies.
Lead by Example
A large portion of oral hygiene habits are developed by children as learned behavior. It is one thing to tell your child what to do, and it is another to actually do those same things yourself. If you are not brushing and flossing regularly, your child likely will not either. Consider brushing and flossing together. In addition, help your toddler manipulate his or her little hands so that all surfaces of the teeth are impressively cleaned. Investing in an electric toothbrush designed for children may be an excellent first step to take.
Take Advantage of Books and Videos
While children may mimic your behaviors and habits, they often are motivated by knowing why certain steps need to be taken. Use books and videos related to oral hygiene to showcase the need to brush and floss regularly in a way that they will understand. You can reinforce what is taught in books and videos by discussing their content while you are standing in the bathroom brushing and flossing with your toddler.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Many parents believe that visiting the dentist is not necessary until their child begins to get permanent teeth in, but this is not the case. Some dentists allow children as young as two or three to receive treatment. A family dentist can tell you how well you and your child are brushing and flossing. They may also identify oral health insurance, such as crooked teeth or crowding, that can be alleviated so that it is easier for your child to clean his or her teeth.
The need for proper and effective oral hygiene throughout life is strong. Hygiene habits are developed early in your child’s life. To ensure that your child takes great care of his or her teeth throughout his or her life, focus your attention on these tips that can help your child to learn proper techniques. Now is an excellent time to begin introducing your child to oral hygiene efforts if you have not already done so.