Tips For Giving Your Kids Great Dental Health Habits

May 12, 2017

As a parent, you need all the spare time you can get. Between taking kids to school, going to work, keeping the house in order, and more, you barely have time for yourself. That’s why giving your kids good habits can be such a great thing. They can learn to do helpful and even healthy things all by themselves so you don’t have to spend time reminding them so much.

Call either of our Connecticut dental offices (203-372-1220 for Bridgeport/Trumbull and 203-378-9737 for Shelton) for family dentistry appointments. Then read on to learn some tips for giving great dental habits to everyone in your family.

Actions Vs. Habits

What’s the difference between an action and a habit? Actions are often done once, but habits keep happening. That’s also the key to giving any kind of habit to your children. Telling them to do a thing means it’s an action — they will probably do it when told, but it doesn’t sink in.

Moving from an action to a habit requires repetition. The more your kids do something, the more likely they’ll remember to do it again in the future. Eventually, it becomes a normal, accepted part of their life. After all, you probably don’t think about brushing your teeth each night, right?

Great Habits To Help Protect Their Teeth

– Treat fruit juices and diet sodas as rare treats.

Fruit juice is often a go-to drink for parents because they’re full of vitamins. However, these are also full of two things that can hurt your kids’ teeth: sugar and acid. Sugar encourages tooth decay, while acid erodes enamel and makes your kids’ teeth weaker.

Older kids (and many adults) enjoy diet soda because there’s no sugar in it. However, all soda is very acidic and can still erode your enamel. Treat both as treats to be enjoyed on occasion rather than regular drinks. This can develop a habit of enjoying something else.

– Make sure your kids know you take care of your teeth too.

Most children are itching to do “grown-up” things. That’s why they often imitate what their parents do. However, they also imitate what their parents don’t do. If they never see you brush or floss, they’ll assume that’s just for little kids — and they’ll be less likely to do both when they grow up.

To develop the healthy habit of brushing and flossing, allow your kids to see you doing the same. You don’t have to stage a big thing. Just make a point to brush and floss in front of them every now and then so they see it’s a “grown-up” thing.

– Make appointments at either of our Connecticut dental offices together.

Dental offices can be a bit intimidating to kids. Yet they need to learn that dental offices are great places and that regular visits there are necessary. To help develop that great habit, make an appointment for yourself right when your kids are going to theirs.

This way, you can be with your kids in case they are a bit concerned or hesitant. And just like with brushing and flossing, letting your kids see you getting a dental cleaning and dental exam at DeJesus Dental Group can help them see such visits as a normal thing.

– Serve water with snacks and meals by default.

Your kids get cavities and gum disease because they have harmful bacteria in their mouths. Those bacteria thrive on tiny particles of food that get stuck in their mouth. Drinking plenty of water will help wash away those food particles as well as any acids that managed to coat their teeth.

But the habit really kicks in when you’re naturally serving a glass of water with meals and snacks. Once your kids see that happening enough times, they’ll start to think it’s natural to drink plain water when you eat. That will reduce the chances they want some sugary drink along with their food.

Call either of our Connecticut dental offices (203-372-1220 for Bridgeport/Trumbull and 203-378-9737 for Shelton) today to schedule a dental cleaning and dental exam for anyone in your family. Our family dentists can see young children and know how to work with them effectively.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified dental professional to determine the best dental/orthodontic treatment for your needs.