5 Ways to Develop Oral Hygiene Habits in Your Child

A healthy smile is one of the best gifts you can give your child this holiday season. Building a foundation of good oral hygiene habits early on will encourage your child to continue these habits in their adult years. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be a good example.

Your child watches just as much – if not more – than they listen. So, if you prioritize your oral health, your child will too. Demonstrate good habits by brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing at least once, and getting your dental checkup every six months. Make sure your child sees this behavior and talk out the importance of taking care of teeth and gums.

  1. Start as early as possible.

Focus on prioritizing oral health as young as possible. You should wipe your infant’s gums with a soft washcloth after feedings and before bed. When your child gets their first tooth, you can start brushing it gently. By the age of 6, they should be able to brush on their own. By making a priority early on, it’s far easier to continue the routines as they get older.

  1. Make tooth brushing a part of daily routines.

It can be a challenge to add brushing habits to a busy morning schedule. However, make it a natural part of getting ready for the day. Have your child brush their teeth first thing before breakfast or as they are washing. Adding it as part of a habitual routine makes it easy to continue daily.

  1. Give them fun oral health supplies.

Brushing and flossing don’t have to be a dull, boring routine. Make it fun for your child! Let them choose a flavored toothpaste (just make sure it has the ADA seal of approval). Give them a toothbrush with their favorite character or one that plays a song. Consider starting a reward chart so they get a prize after brushing their teeth for a certain number of days. Adding this kind of positive reinforcement will make it easier for them to keep up with the behavior.

  1. Bring them in for a dental checkup starting at age 3.

We encourage you to bring your child in for a checkup starting at age 3. When you make visiting the dentist a regular part of your life, it’s easier for them to continue the habit as they get older. At Charlotte Dentistry, we make dental checkups for kids as fun as possible. We have a play area and a prize box. We can even schedule several family members at once to make it easy for your busy schedule!

We’d love to help you and your family build good oral hygiene habits in your child. Call Charlotte Dentistry at 704-285-0846 to schedule your appointment in Charlotte, NC.