One of the most important values parents can instill in their children is the idea that your body is a temple and deserves the best care you can give it. This involves making certain your children are eating right, getting plenty of exercise, and taking care of their teeth and gums. Of these three values dental hygiene is, arguably, the most important.
Why is that?
Most people don’t really realize it, but good oral health is a major component of good all around health. For example, if you’ve let your brushing and flossing habits slip and allowed decay to creep in your teeth, you’re actually setting yourself up for a host of other medical problems that may seem entirely unrelated to your teeth.
The problem here is that your body winds up spreading its limited immune system resources thin while fighting off infections in the teeth and gums. That doesn’t leave much left over to fight off viruses and bugs that impact other parts of your body.
This is just one example of many but it does show what the long-term impact of poor dental habits can be. If you’re a parent who is trying to figure out the best way to instill good brushing and flossing habits in your children, here are a few tips to get you started.
You Are the Front Line
Parents are front line soldiers in the battle for healthy teeth and gums and should always lead by example. If your children see you brushing and flossing your teeth every day; and see you eschewing sugary treats in favor of fruits and vegetables, they’ll likely follow suit.
After all, they’re only going to see your family dentist once or twice a year (if everything goes well); they’re going to see you every day. So, bearing that in mind, you need to be the one who shows them the best ways of keeping their teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Don’t Fear the Dentist
Does it even need to be said that children will be more interested in taking care of their teeth if they’re seeing a dentist who actually specializes in working with children? That’s why selecting the right dentist is such an incredibly important job for parents and its not one that should be outsourced to the first page of the phone book.
Whether you employ a local dental service or do the research yourself, you definitely don’t want to rush into a relationship with a pediatric dentist. We strongly encourage parents to shop around to find a dentist that fits their family’s style. And because most initial consultations are relatively inexpensive, it’s probably worthwhile to go ahead and try out more than dentist to see how they work with your kids.
Don’t Give Up
Family life can be chaotic, so it’s you can expect your kids to drift off into bad brushing and flossing habits every once in a while. For that reason, parents need to maintain strict discipline and not let kids slide even a little bit on their daily brushing and flossing routines.
There’s hardly a better gift parents can give their children than the gift of good oral hygiene habits.