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  • Suzanne Rightley

Healthy Dental Habits

For Your Kids to Develop

Getting kids to follow a daily dental hygiene routine can be challenging for many parents.

Let's face some facts...

It's hard for parents to follow a daily dental hygiene routine, let alone young, easily distracted children.

Life is busy and skipping steps, every now and then (maybe a little more than now and then), seems necessary.

Here's the thing...

We know dental hygiene is important. No convincing necessary. The problem is the habit of it all.

It may seem like a time consuming process, but more than likely, it only feels that way, because... all the steps have not become habitual.

Take flossing for instance...

Flossing can feel like 'an extra' part that...time permitting, we squeeze into those few minutes we give ourselves to clean our teeth and stimulate our gums.

The truth of the matter is that flossing is an equal partner with your toothbrush and toothpaste.

Theirs is a 50/50 relationship.

To develop a good flossing habit...

1) Floss first ... it loosens little bits of food, but also stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and helps lower inflammation.

2) Brush ... take your time, brush using gentle circular motions and keep that gentle mindset going to brush your tongue as well.

3) Quick mirror clean-up... ah... because... well, just look at that mirror after you floss. No need to say more.

For your kids to develop a good flossing habit...

1) Explain the two-part-steps that begin with flossing (otherwise kids tend to skip flossing if they brush first)

2) Provide each child with a small tote to hold their floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste... be as creative as you and your child's heart desires

3) Time -- consider that your child will need an 'unrushed' slot of time to complete his or her dental routine. This means...

  • extra time in the morning... start breakfast a little earlier, set a reminder to ensure there's sufficient, unrushed time (dental care shouldn't be rushed because they'll miss their bus type thing)

  • extra time in the evening... do not make dental hygiene the last thing on the list of things to do before going to bed (kids and parents are too tired by this point)... good healthy habits means no snacking after supper, which means dental care can take place up to an hour before going to bed... quality family time, or quiet reading should wind down the day

4) Clean up -- help your child to develop this great habit... leave the mirror and sink fresh looking for the next family member

Other great habits for you and your children to practice ... regular dental visits, nutritionally balanced diet, avoid processed foods, added sugar, soda and fruit drinks.

Once you and your kids have taken necessary steps to build a good dental hygiene habit, you'll look forward to that clean feel, and the satisfaction of knowing you are taking care of yourselves.

it's the right thing to do


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