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How to Instill Healthy Dental Habits in Your Kids

Parents have lots to teach their kids. From looking both ways when crossing the street to covering their mouth when they cough — your kids need your instruction for even the simplest tasks when they’re still learning.

Oral care is no different. As adults, brushing and flossing are ingrained as part of your daily routine. But it’s not that way for your kids. They need to be shown the proper way to care for their teeth so they will develop good dental habits.

Here are some ways to ensure your children develop a good oral care routine that will last a lifetime.


Lead by Example

Kids want to emulate mom and dad, so let them see you brush and floss your teeth every morning and night. They’ll see that these activities are a part of your routine and they’ll want to copy your actions. Brush together so it becomes a fun family activity. And remember, until your kids are at least six or seven, they’ll need some help brushing to ensure their teeth are properly cleaned.

Let Them Select Their Supplies

Get your kids involved in picking out a toothbrush and toothpaste. Let them select a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or one that’s their favorite color. Show them all the options for flavored toothpaste that are available at the store and let them pick their favorite flavor. Just remember kids younger than 3 shouldn’t use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Look for training toothpaste that younger kiddos can safely swallow.

Establish a Routine

Make sure your kids brush their teeth in the morning and before bed. You might even set a timer to let kids know when it’s time to brush so they get accustomed to doing it without being asked. But you should also stress the importance of brushing after eating candy and sugary snacks like cookies and soda. This will remove food and bacteria from their teeth, helping to prevent decay and erosion.

Use Songs as Timers

Make brushing fun with songs. Look for silly songs about brushing on the Internet that you can sing while they brush. Or let kids listen to their favorite song as they brush. Tell them they need to keep brushing until the song is over to be certain they brush long enough to clean their teeth adequately.

Make It a Teachable Moment

If your child does get a cavity and must have it filled at a dentist in St Petersburg FL, make sure he or she recognizes the need to improve oral care. You should never make going to the dentist seem like a punishment, but be certain your child recognizes that cavities can usually be avoided if they’re taking proper care of their teeth and gums.

Get Routine Dental Care

Everyone in the family needs to have regular dental checkups to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy. Visit our St Pete dental office every six months for professional cleanings and exams. Be sure to take advantage of our Welcome Exam and Cleaning for children under the age of 12. Click here to learn more.