April 21, 2017
Raising kids is very rewarding, but it can be rough. How many times have you had to remind your kids to brush or stop eating candy? You can’t always be there, and your kids will grow up eventually. If they don’t have the right dental habits now, that could affect their whole life.
Call our Fairfax, VA family dentistry office today at 703-552-2530 and make appointments for your whole family. A dental cleaning and dental exam are great ways to protect your kids’ teeth. Then follow these tips to build great dental habits in your children.
Protect Smiles With These Habits
– Make your appointment along with your kids’ appointments
Kids can sometimes feel weird about going to the dentist’s office. All the strangers, unusual sounds, and uncertainty can make them nervous, and that’s understandable. You can help two ways by making your appointment on the same day as theirs.
First, going there with your kids can help them feel more relaxed and safe. They trust you, and you can even go into the room with them if that will help. But going around the same time also lets your children know that you take dental care seriously. If you want them to get into the habit of going to the dentist, you need to show them it’s something you do regularly.
– Treat fruit juice and diet soda as occasional treats to enjoy.
You know better than to let your kids eat too much candy or sweets. That’s because sugar can lead to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease, two things you definitely do not want bothering your kids. But fruit juice is very sugary. Even the non-sweetened kinds are naturally high in sugar.
Some parents think diet soda is a great choice, but all kinds of soda are very acidic. That acid can erode enamel, making your kids’ teeth weaker. To give them good dental habits, make sure your kids see diet soda and fruit juice as an occasional treat and not something you enjoy every day.
– Let your kids pick out their own toothbrushes.
Children spend most of their years being told what to do. That makes sense — they don’t have the maturity to make good decisions. But that also means your kids don’t get to make many decisions themselves.
You can tap into that to build a good dental habit by letting them pick out their own toothbrush. Just giving them some control like that can help them see toothbrushes as a great thing. The more they like their toothbrush, the more likely they’ll use it to brush their teeth.
– Serve plain water as the drink of choice in your home.
Water is great for your kids’ smile for two reasons. One, it washes away food particles and acids that build up and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Two, so does saliva — but you have to be well-hydrated in order for that to happen.
When it’s time for meals or snacks, serve a big glass of water. There’s nothing wrong with occasional treats, but by making water the drink of choice at home, you encourage your kids to get into the habit of drinking it instead of something that could hurt their smiles.
– If you smoke, do your best to stop.
Smoking has plenty of health risks, but it’s also bad for your teeth. Not only does tobacco stain your teeth, it makes it harder to fight gum disease. It also dries out your mouth, hurting saliva production.
Here’s the thing. If you smoke, your kids know that. Even if you never smoke in front of them, they can smell it. And if they see you smoking, they are much more likely to pick up smoking when they grow up. That’s why you need to do your best to stop using tobacco.
– Every now and then, let you children see you brushing and flossing.
As with tobacco, your kids are always watching you. They want to be “grown up,” so they often try to imitate what you do. The flip side is how your kids tend to not do things they never see you doing.
That’s true with dental care. If your kids never see you brushing and flossing like you tell them to do, they’ll assume dental care is just for kids. As they grow up, they’ll be more likely to ignore brushing and flossing. That’s why it’s a great idea to let your kids watch you brush and floss every so often. This can help your kids develop the great habit of always taking care of their teeth and gums.
Call us TODAY at 703-552-2530 and make an appointment with Dr. Laura Ki. You can also request an appointment online. Dental cleanings and dental exams are needed to help your kids’ smiles stay healthy, and Dr. Ki works well with children.