Family dental care is extremely important. As a parent, you often set the tone for how your children feel about dental care, and you have a huge impact on the dental hygiene habits they develop. As a result, it’s just as important to focus on your own dental care as it is to help your child with their dental needs.
Helping to Create Positive Habits
Young children, in particular, really look up to their parents, and they often want to do exactly what Mom or Dad is doing. If family dental care is important to you, you may want to brush in the morning, after meals or before bed with your child brushing at your side. When you brush together, you can model good habits.
For instance, many kids don’t brush for long enough. However, if you’re there next to your child, you can encourage them to brush for as long as you do. You can even set a timer or play a song. That can set a lifelong habit of consistent, thorough brushing.
Educating Your Child
Education underlies positive family dental habits. If your children understand why dental hygiene is so important, they will be more likely to follow through with recommendations from you or the dentist. If your child gets a cavity, make sure they understand how to avoid that in the future.
When talking with young children about dental care, you may want to break it down into their own language. For instance, many parents find it easy to talk about cavity bugs and how they feed off of sugar on the teeth which ultimately leads to cavities. As children get older, they can understand more scientific explanations of how cavities form and why brushing and flossing is so important to prevent them.
Setting a Good Example
As explained above, you can help your child set healthy habits by taking care of your dental hygiene alongside of them, but you can also set good examples in other ways. For example, make sure that you see the dentist on a regular schedule, and let your child know that going to the dentist isn’t just for kids.
If you have fears around dental care, don’t let your children know about those feelings. That can set a negative tone, and the fears may spread to your children. Instead, talk positively about family dental experiences so your children also feel positive about seeing the dentist.
This doesn’t just have to apply to routine family dental care. It can also apply to orthodontics. For instance, if your child is worried about getting braces, you may want to consider getting them as well. Remember, braces aren’t just for cosmetic purposes; you can also use braces to correct issues with your bite or deal with other potential health problems. If your children see that you also have braces, that can help to reduce their fears and understand the importance of orthodontics.
Getting Care Together
To really set a positive example, you may even want to consider getting care in the chair next to your child. At FUNtastic Pediatric Dental, we offer pediatric dental care for kids, but we offer braces and orthodontic care to people of all ages. Contact us to set up an appointment today.