Oral Health Habits For Kids

There is a slight difference between a habit and a routine. While a routine still seems like work to keep it going, a habit is basically an instinct. It’s something we do without even really thinking about it. Therefore, it’s important that your child’s oral health routine is not just a simple routine but also an actual habit. The goal is to have your child brush, floss, and rinse in the morning and evening as though it’s as natural as drinking a glass of water when you’re thirsty and eating a meal when you’re hungry. The information below contains some important tips to ensure their routine becomes a habit, as well as some of the things that should be included as well.

Keep it Simple to Start

The easiest way to establish your kids’ oral health routine is to have a regular time for them to brush and floss their teeth. The best time in the morning is right after breakfast. The helps clear all of the food particles out of their teeth and keeps them protected until they eat lunch. Again, this builds on the whole habit aspect of oral health. As your child gets used to eating a healthy breakfast every morning before school, brushing their teeth and flossing will become second nature as they finish up eating. By simply adding breakfast to your morning routine you can increase their chances of keeping healthy oral habits. In the evening, it might be best to have them brush after their favorite show. The end credits should symbolize that it’s time for bed and time to brush those teeth!

For some parents, it’s also helpful to incorporate games or songs into the routine. For instance, by singing a simple song that they recognize and associate with brushing their teeth, it might be easier to coax them into the bathroom in order to get them to focus on their oral care. A song may help familiarize them with their oral care routine.

Encourage Them

Once your child is familiar with their oral routine, it’s important to encourage them to continue with it. This is what truly helps a child’s routine become a habit. There are numerous activities or reward systems you can utilize in order to reassure that they’re brushing and flossing. You can keep a calendar, similar to a perfect attendance record in school, where you place gold stars for each day your child continues their oral health routine. This will aid in them keeping a streak going.

Another good idea is to create a reward system that involves the Tooth Fairy. Have them build up consecutive days where they brush and floss their teeth, so they can receive a bigger reward from the Tooth Fairy when they lose some of their teeth. However, be sure to include morning and nighttime. The rule for their oral care is 2-2-2. They should brush twice a day for 2 minutes and see their dentist twice a year. They should also floss once a day. If they do all of that in the morning and the evening, they deserve the opportunity to receive something nice from the Tooth Fairy!

Practice What You Preach

The number one deterrent of your children’s oral care is you! If they don’t see you taking care of your teeth, they’ll never want to either! That’s why it’s best when you’re encouraging them to brush and floss, to do it with them, otherwise they’ll just feel like they’re being punished. The goal is not to treat oral care like a punishment. It should feel more like a fun, family ritual as opposed to something you’re forcing upon them. If you can do this, their oral health will certainly become a habit as opposed to a task they will try to avoid.

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