As parents, we want the very best for our kids…we sign them up for camps, enroll them in opportunities to enrich their summers, and attend school and sporting events. Yet, one of the most critical lessons you can give your children is the importance of dental health.
Model Proper Dental Health
One of the most effective ways for your children to adopt proper dental habits will be if they see you doing the exact same routine. From an early age, if your kids see you brushing and flossing as a part of daily tasks, they will be more inclined to initiate the same behaviors. When teaching them by showing how to brush and floss, make these opportunities a positive experience, instead of a daily “chore”. Songs, games, and lighthearted conversation will contribute to this almost “festive” environment.
Reward Good Behaviors
Point charts or behavior reinforcement can be very helpful for encouraging daily tasks such as room cleaning, toy pickup or other household tasks. Consider adding dental care to these reward/tracking programs to help children see a visual representation of their efforts. There are a multitude of tracking charts both in downloadable and printable forms as well as apps which help increase your child’s engagement. Find one that works for your family and adapt it to your needs.
Facilitate Healthy Options
By limiting the amount of processed and often sugary foods available in your home, you’ll soon find that it’s easier to subtly direct your children to healthier options. For school snacks, send seeds, nuts, crunchy and colorful veggies or fruit instead of processed and sticky sweets. If your children participate in after-school sports, activities or clubs, send them into their day with these healthy snacks so that the options for the quick fix to satisfy their hunger averts the vending machine. Modeling these healthy behaviors into your own busy day also goes a long way to encouraging healthy dental habits.
Maintain Routine Professional Dental Care
Dr. Hanson and Dr. Osmundson understand the unique needs children may have in regard to visiting the dentist. Our dental facility is committed to reducing children’s fear and making visits to see the dentist comfortable, reassuring, and even an adventure! By visiting us twice a year, your child will develop not only a comfortable relationship with us, but also gradually acquire a lifestyle habit which will send them into their teenage and adult years valuing dental health.
At Hanson Dental, we highly value the importance of dental health as a component of overall wellness. We strive to provide the very best in dental care to our patients in the Buffalo and surrounding community. Call us today for scheduling your or your child’s dental visit: (763) 682-9796.
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