Round Lake Beach 847-546-5550 2 E Rollins Rd, Suite 202, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

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How to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Oral Hygiene

As adults who understand the importance of oral hygiene, we know that teaching our children how to care for their teeth at an early age is vital to their health. At our Round Lake Beach family dental office, we know how hard it can be to explain the importance of dental care to a child, not to mention the difficulty of  teaching them how to apply the correct techniques to maintain good oral hygiene.

Brushing your teeth when you get up and before you go to bed may seem habitual to an adult, but to a child it’s a new responsibility. To some children brushing their teeth might be fun, and to others it is the beginning of a school day or a sign that bedtime is near. Even if your child picks up their toothbrush with a smile every morning and night, things like teaching them how to brush properly and how much toothpaste to use can require a bit of trial and error (and patience).

Begin at an Early Age and Be Persistent

The first step to introducing your children to oral hygiene is showing them how to brush by doing it with them. Before the age of seven you will likely have to brush their teeth either before or after they brush for themselves, as it is usually difficult for younger children to master the proper brushing techniques. 

Teach them how to apply toothpaste to their toothbrush, the correct direction to brush, and stand beside them while brushing your teeth as well – for two full minutes. It might be a good idea to choose a favorite song to play while they brush – and let them know they should brush as long as the song plays. 

Gum Health is Important Too

Gum health is vital to ensuring teeth remain strong and healthy. Make flossing another part of your child’s oral hygiene routine. Teach them how to floss by doing it for them, then handing the floss over and watching closely to make sure they are getting between all of their teeth.

Make it Fun

For those children who say they “hate” brushing their teeth, consider trying fun flavors of toothpaste (provided they include fluoride and are safe for kids), colorful toothbrushes, and even playing games with them during the brushing process. Sometimes just making dental hygiene into a family activity is enough to get kids excited about brushing their teeth.

Food Choices 

It is much easier to teach your children healthy eating habits at a young age than to correct unhealthy habits later. Less sugar, fewer carbonated beverages, drinking plenty of water, and higher calcium intake are all things that will help protect teeth and gums from plaque buildup, decay, and cavities.

Schedule Your Child’s First Visit at our Round Lake Beach Family Dental Office

Our team at Reilly & Siegel is dedicated to helping clients and their families protect their smiles from their first check-up through adulthood. For more tips or to schedule your child’s first dental check-up, give us a call today!

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