4 Habits to Teach Kids for Dental Hygiene

4 Habits to Teach Kids for Dental Hygiene
Posted on 07/02/2018

Oral hygiene is the key to a healthy, beautiful smile, and the best way to help your child gain lifelong oral hygiene habits is to start young. By teaching your child good routines around oral hygiene at an early age, you build a foundation that will benefit them throughout life – and learning oral hygiene doesn't have to be hard! At Heller Orthodontics, we strive to be a comprehensive resource for oral and orthodontic health for patients throughout Bethesda, Laurel, and North Potomac, MD. Here are our top 4 habits to teach your children for better dental hygiene.

Top 4 Oral Hygiene Habits for Kids

Few things are as important as giving your child the gift of a healthy smile, and the best way to do it is to start early. If you'd like to help your child achieve a lifetime of great smiles, start by teaching them these four habits at a young age:

  • Make Oral Hygiene a Ritual: Children thrive on ritual and turning morning and nighttime brushing and flossing into a ritual is a great way to help kids learn good hygiene habits. Make brushing and flossing a daily ritual that marks the beginning and end of each day. This will help form the habit to brush and floss for a lifetime.

  • Encourage Healthy Eating: Brushing and flossing are just one component of dental hygiene. Eating healthy is important as well. Educate your kids on the effects of different foods on both their bodies and teeth and choose to eat tooth-healthy foods like vegetables and low-fat cheeses whenever possible.

  • Give Your Child Agency: While instilling good habits is important, it doesn't have to be a one-way street. Try to give your child some measure of choice in their oral care by letting them pick out their favorite toothbrush, toothpaste, or floss. Allowing them some say in the matter will help them feel ownership over their oral health, which can further cement good hygiene habits.

  • Use a Gold Star System: It may be a cliche, but using a system like gold stars to track your child's progress can truly work. Make a fun calendar and decorate it with gold stars each time your child brushes and flosses. Then, once your child reaches a month (or any other milestone) of consecutive brushing, give them a special reward for their hard work!

Contact Your Laurel, MD Kid's Orthodontist

Healthy brushing and flossing habits are two of the most important things you can do for your child's oral health, and the best way to cement those habits is to start early in life. We hope these strategies help you create strong oral hygiene habits for your child. If you have any other questions on how to improve your child's oral health, we encourage you to reach out to us at our contact page. We wish you luck in helping your child develop habits for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles!