Finding an Arlington pediatric dentist, who can get your children excited about dental care is half the battle. Fortunately, young minds are susceptible to good habits.
It’s all about how we approach the topic and share enthusiasm for a clean and healthy smile. In the following article, we’ll be looking at 10 ways you can cause their enthusiasm to grow. But first, let’s look at what might be holding them back.
Why Kids Hesitate
There can be many reasons why your child is scared of the dentist or stubborn to take care of their teeth. You’ll need to figure out the why behind this before you can hope to be effective at reaching them.
Sometimes kids are resistant to brushing because they find it boring. They’d rather be playing. Fear of dental visits might also make them hesitant to approach dental care.
Once you’ve found the cause(s) of your child’s apprehension, you’re in a great position. Start using these 10 tips to break through!
1. Make Brushing Fun
As an adult, it can be easy to lose sight of the fun factor that goes into brushing. After all, you spend more time worrying about things like tooth decay from brushing too little or missing those hard-to-reach places and losing permanent teeth.
However, your kids are counting on you to find healthy ways of modeling healthy habits. Why not bring a little splash and color to the proceedings?
You can do this through things like designer toothbrushes or the kind that flash lights for the approximate length of time that a child needs to brush their teeth. You might also consider spritzing in some entertainment with sing-alongs that make brushing fun.
2. Teach Proper Flossing Technique
Another important factor for getting kids oral hygiene right is to teach about flossing. Flossing is something that many adults have issues with, so discuss with your doctor if you’re one of them.
Once you feel comfortable with the technique, pass it along to your kids. You might start them with how to properly hold floss. Then, let them test it out on any grooved household items that you can find.
As children get comfortable holding the floss and applying the right amount of pressure, it will be easier for them to transfer those practices to their own mouths. They’ve got to start somewhere!
3. Arrive Early at Appointments
Early arrival time at dental appointments can make children enthusiastic about dental care in general. Making the dentist’s office a place associated with fun, rewards, and words of affirmation is much better than the fear technique.
Many dental offices, particularly Park Place Kids, do their best to make locations as fun and non-threatening as possible. This keeps children occupied and having fun until the dentist can see them. Proper care will also win them praise and rewards after the checkup is complete.
4. Establish Healthy Eating Patterns
Another key aspect of good oral health is to eat good foods and avoid those that lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Of course, children are going to press hard for things like cupcakes and Airheads, but that’s where you can have conversations about the importance of brushing and caring for teeth.
Make sure you frame healthy foods in a different way than you do candy. That way, children will see the distinction, and they will know that sugary candies come with a price that healthier foods do not.
5. Embrace the Tooth Fairy
Children need to see as much positivity around dental care as they can. The tooth fairy is a good ay to make the child look forward to normal dental milestones.
Getting a reward for losing a tooth due to a bigger tooth coming in gives the child something to look forward to. However, it also instills a sense of pride in the permanent tooth and making sure they take good care of it moving forward.
You don’t have to spend much either. In fact, one recent report found the average tooth was worth about $3.70. That’s a cheap price to pay for prioritizing dental care.
6. Lead By Example
Dental care is like anything else you teach your child. They will listen less to what you say and more to what you do. If you don’t take dental care seriously, they won’t see it as necessary either.
The good news: all you’ve got to do is brush regularly in front of them and let them see you floss, use mouthwash, and employ other dental care tips. Your example is what they want to emulate. Set a good one, and they will follow suit.
When all else fails, a rewards system works wonders. Children get excited about everything from brushing their teeth to doing their homework when you mix it with an experience, toy, or other purchase that they love.
Figure out what your children like more than anything. Then, dole out the rewards for every good dental report they have. That will get them serious about taking care of their teeth in a hurry!
8. Get Kid Friendly Toothpaste
Depending on your child’s age, you might try some kid-friendly toothpaste. This helps a kid’s dental care by giving them something that’s uniquely theirs. Also, kids’ toothpaste tends to taste better!
9. Associate With Play
When “tooth time equals play time,” a child will pick up on the practice as something positive. They will be more inclined to willingly brush their teeth if you associate it with singing, reading, or 10 extra minutes of play time after they finish brushing.
10. Craft Object Lessons
One final thing you might consider is wrapping up object lessons or dental-inspired crafts into normal play time. There are many places you can go online to get ideas for oral hygiene crafts.
Ask any children’s dentist worth their salt, and they’ll probably have a slew of favorites they can share off the top of their head. If not, do some Google searches and start making your own list of favorites.
Ask Your Arlington Pediatric Dentist for More Tips
Working with an Arlington pediatric dentist that puts dental education front-and-center can help your child establish healthy habits. Ready to take the next step? Contact Park Place Dentistry today to check our availabilities and discuss more helpful tips at your next appointment.