How to Get Your Kids on Board with Good Oral Health Habits

Instilling good oral habits in your child when they are young will foster good dental health for life!

Going to the dentist can be a terrifying thing for a child. However, if you instill good oral habits early on with your young one, you can avoid bad experiences at the dentist, fostering good dental health for the rest of their lives.

The more you educate your children about their teeth, why it is important to take good care of them, and how to do so, the more likely you are to have pain-free visits and exams that increase the odds that they will maintain regular dental health exams when they are older.

Read Books about the Dentist and Oral Health

One of the best ways to help children develop good habits is by reading books that model healthy oral behaviors. Books will not only prepare your child for their dental exam and reduce anxiety about their visit, but books can also provide the information your child needs about how to care for their teeth in a more engaging and enlightening way than by simply telling them.

Another good way to foster healthy teeth habits and reduce dentist-visit fears is to have them watch movies like “Timmy the Tooth” and other shows that explain how cavities form and how to prevent them. Movies and videos also help explain what to expect when they visit the dentist and help make exams less traumatic.

Demonstrate What Happens to Teeth

Crest has developed an experiment that you can do with your kids at home to demonstrate what happens when everyday acids build up in their teeth and how those acids can make teeth weak and soft. It also shows them how to protect their teeth by brushing the correct way. The experiment uses an egg, toothpaste, and vinegar and takes five or six days. Developed by dentists, the Crest experiment brings the process of tooth decay and damage to life and gives children a feeling of control over damage while showing them how good brushing and oral care work.

Let Them Choose Their Own Brush

Those silly toothbrushes aren’t just a novelty; they are an excellent way to get kids excited about brushing their teeth. As one of the best investments you can make, allow them to choose one that has a timer, lights up, or has their favorite character on it. That way, they will be more excited to brush their teeth. The more frequently they brush their teeth as a habit, the more ingrained that habit will become both now and in the future.

Teach Them About Their Teeth

Teach children about teeth by outlining the different kinds of teeth they have. There are 32 in total: four cuspids, eight incisors, 12 molars, and eight premolars. Just talking about their teeth and understanding what goes where is an excellent way to reinforce the importance of keeping their teeth strong.

The oral habits that children learn early on are important for their developing teeth and will also help set up good habits for a lifetime. Please give them the knowledge they need, foster good brushing habits, and let them have some fun by experimenting and picking out their own brush, to keep them engaged and maintain their oral health for a lifetime.

Pediatric Dentist St. Louis

Your child’s initial oral examination will include a visual examination, charting, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if sedation or anesthesia is right for your child.

Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!

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The only board-certified dental anesthesiologist in Missouri, including St. Louis.

Updated: August 31, 2023

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