It’s a stunning realization that every parent has when their children are young. Especially when you accidentally use a curse word in front of your kid, and suddenly it’s the only word they want to say. It’s that moment that you realize it…
They’re always watching you.
You could say this is a bad thing, but we’re going to argue with you on that. The reality is that it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids good oral care habits at home (while making sure that you follow them too). Here’s how you and your excessively observant kids can start developing good oral-care habits and take care of your teeth at home!
Making Brushing Time Fun
Even you don’t want to take out the two minutes it takes to brush your teeth twice a day. But we all know how important it is, and we definitely want to set a good example for our kids.
Here are some ways to make brushing time a little bit more fun for both of you!
- Brush with them
This one is obvious. They adore you! Spend some time together cleaning up your pearly whites. When you do this, make sure to reach all of your teeth in the back, massage your gums, and cleaning your tongue while exaggerating every movement. That way, your child can really see what you’re doing and follow your example.
- Record a song
Keeping track of those two minutes can be difficult, but you want to start off the right way! You and your child can record a song together (one that lasts at least two minutes) and brush along to it every night. Take this opportunity to unleash your inner pop star!
- Use technology
You know how they say there’s an app for everything? It’s true.
There are apps for helping your kids brush their teeth. For example, Brush DJ is an app that plays two minutes of music from your device, with fun pictures and videos that demonstrate the proper method.
Since your child clearly has no sense of time (because they’ll insist that they’ve only been watching TV for five minutes, when it’s actually been hours). Using technology to time your child brushing their teeth is especially important when they are younger and get bored more quickly. You can even just use the timer on your phone!
Don’t forget that as kids grow older, their dental needs change. Consult your pediatric dentist about when to start incorporating fluoride into your child’s toothpaste and what time is appropriate to switch to an adult or electronic toothbrush. Dr. Chen, a pediatric dentist in Katy, recommends including your kids in the decision process when you’re making these changes. Even it’s as simple as choosing the color of their new toothbrush, it’ll make them more enthusiastic about brushing.
Getting your kids into the habit of eating right will not only help their teeth, but also their overall health. Setting good examples by monitoring what you keep in the house and what you send them to school with is essential! Some ways that you can do this are by:
- Stocking Up The Fridge
…with fun and healthy snacks! Make sure to have an abundance of fruits and vegetables in your kitchen, while limiting the temptations of chips and cookies.
- Getting Creative With School Lunches
Getting healthy foods into your kid’s lunch bag can be a hassle, especially if they don’t think it’s cool. Getting creative with school lunches can make it a little bit easier to convince them to actually eat their lunch instead of trading it for their friend’s candy bar.
A great way to overcome this challenge is by making lunch with your child, and packing the same items in both of your lunches. That way, your kid gets to spend some more time with you, and you get to take heart-shaped PB&J’s to work!
- Choosing Water
Soda and juice can be extremely harmful for everyone’s teeth, and it’s best to get into the habit of drinking water when you’re feeling parched. Start your kids early by limiting soda and juice. If your kids are getting into after school sports, encourage them to choose water instead of Gatorade.
For bonus points, try to keep bottles of water in your car! That way, you won’t be tempted to stop for sodas or milkshakes at the drive through.
Since our kids follow us around like shadows, it’s important that we set a good example for them when it comes to protecting our teeth! Something as simple as spending a little more time with them and switching out juice for water makes a huge difference.
Here at Epic Dentistry in Aurora, our team of pediatric dentists is committed to helping your child achieve an Epic smile. Book an appointment for a consultation today!