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The Best Ways to Teach Kids Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Posted on September 29, 2021

A family of four smiling at the camera in front of a solid blue background.

When your child can hold a toothbrush, they get to start exploring good oral hygiene habits. Learning to care for the mouth and teeth properly is essential to their confidence and health as they grow. If children experience positive things while learning these habits, they are much more likely to stick with the new practices they’ve learned. Working with a great pediatric dentist can also play a role in how well your child adopts these behaviors.

Good dental habits are those that routinely keep your teeth and mouth clean. According to Mouth Healthy, a child is eligible to come for dental visits as soon as their first tooth begins to appear. It’s best to bring them in no later than their first birthday to get a healthy head start on proper oral care. A person should do several things to keep good oral hygiene habits: brushing for two minutes both morning and night, flossing at least once per day, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and regular visits with their dentist.

Teaching your kids can involve several variations of habit-forming. Start by making it a family affair. After each meal, rinse and spit your mouth with water. If a child sees this as usual in their role models, they will see it as an everyday habit as they grow.

If your family chews gum, always point out to the kids you need to buy sugarless gum. Consider offering fresh fruits as rewards rather than candy or other sugary substances.

As the kids get older, incorporate brushing into your morning and night routines as a family. For example, you can play a particular song to get everyone excited and in the mood. You might also consider making brushing a prerequisite before the family can sit down and enjoy a movie or game together in the evening.

Showing them by example how important it is to look after each of their functions with care and attention. Later, the children will value knowing they have permission not to neglect their health or medical needs. It’s also a proud thing to share each positive result from their regular dental visits with their friends. Combining these things leads to an increase in confidence and overall better oral health.

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