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6 Ways to Encourage Good Dental Habits During the School Year

At Chesterfield Family Dentistry, we want to help parents make this journey a fun and easy one for their kids. That’s why we have put together six ways you can encourage your child to develop good dental hygiene habits during the school year.
Promoting dental hygiene and teaching your kids about its importance is advantageous for their overall health. The sooner your child learns how to properly brush and floss his or her teeth, the more likely it is your child will avoid cavities and gum diseases. Although circumstances for going back to school may be different this year, your kids are still going to have assignments and activities that take up their time and attention. It can be easier, during this busy time, to forget about prioritizing dental health, or be harder to focus their attention on dental health. Therefore, it is crucial to teach good dental hygiene habits your kids can use while they are at school, or while they’re doing online school.

1. Brush & Floss Together

Imitation is an essential part of learning, especially for children. Kids learn how to do things by emulating their parents. That’s why letting your child watch you brush and floss your teeth is the best way to teach them about oral hygiene. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your kids!

Remember your child looks at you as a role model. Therefore, you should strive to lead by example. Especially when it comes to providing oral health insights to your child. If you show enthusiasm and energy when brushing and flossing your teeth, your child will likely do the same.

2. Encourage Healthy Eating Habits at Home

Your child’s diet strongly relates to their oral health. That is why parents need to encourage their kids to choose healthy foods over foods that contain high amounts of sugar. Most natural foods contain fewer amounts of sugar and are less damaging to the teeth. Hence, aiming to serve a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and dairy products will protect your child’s teeth from harmful ingredients.

One of the best things you can do to ensure your child will make tooth-conscious decisions at school is teaching them to eat healthy foods at home. If you serve healthy, nutritious, tooth-friendly foods at home, your child will most likely imitate those eating habits at school.

3. Pack a Healthy Lunch If They Are Attending Class In-Person

Eating healthy, organic foods at home is a great way to protect your child’s teeth but in order to make this a habit, it is important to pack healthy snacks for lunch a well! Instead of packing up popular snacks that contain great amounts of sugar, include tooth-friendly snacks like fruits and dairy products. Fruits will satisfy your child’s sweet cravings and dairy products like string-cheese or a carton of milk will make his or her teeth stronger and healthier.
Remember that treating your kids with some sweets from
time to time is not bad! Just keep in mind to give them in
moderation and teach your kids the importance of brushing
and flossing after eating these treats.

4. Allow Them to Choose Their Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Choice is an incredible motivator for children. When children are allowed to choose their dental toothbrushes, they are essentially choosing the specifics of how they want to brush their teeth.
There are different kinds of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other oral hygiene products your child can choose from! Some brands offer toothbrushes that play music, others that sell mouthwash that turn their teeth blue, and there are products with your child’s favorite superhero or favorite princess.

Take your child to the nearest supermarket and let him/her choose his favorite products! This will boost the likelihood of making the experience of brushing and flossing and enjoyable one for your child.

5. Buy Portable Dental Hygiene Products

The best way to promote dental hygiene habits at school is by providing your kid with portable dental hygiene products for him/her to take to school. Although you won’t be able to monitor if your child is brushing their teeth at school, giving them portable dental hygiene items will encourage him/her to use them at school. If your child is attending online school, it will be easy to monitor that they are bushing between meals or after sweet treats!

There are tons of portable hygiene products designed for kids. You can order them online or get them from your nearest supermarket! If you want to motivate your child to use the products, you could allow them to choose the products. This way your child will be excited to show off their new products at school, or even over webcam!
6. Get Your Kid a Dental Hygiene Book

One other way to promote dental hygiene habits is by getting your kid a dental hygiene book for you to read together! There are many different types of books you can choose from based on what you think your child would like best. Some books talk about the first visit to the dentist, and others focus on the experience of losing your first tooth!

Books are a great way to prepare your kids for their first dentist appointment or to teach them about the importance of dental hygiene, as it shows them images that will make it easier for them to understand.

Teaching healthy dental hygiene habits to your child isn’t always a painless journey. However, it is vital you persist and continuously search for ways to make this a fun experience for your child. Once your child has developed dental hygiene habits at home, he/she will likely take these habits to school if they attend class in-person. Give some of these tricks a try to see if they ease your child's journey to developing healthy oral hygiene habits!
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Dr. Jonathan W Silva DDS LLC
13463 Olive Boulevard
Chesterfield MO 63017
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