As the parent of a young, growing family, you know by now that there is an unfortunate difference between what you tell your children to do, and what they actually wind up doing.
Your expectations and your children’s desires don’t always see eye to eye, and the problems that come from this cause you no small amount of frustration.
Saying to them “Because I said so” doesn’t always have the effect you intend, does it? You know that this tactic can sometimes backfire when your child is feeling particularly unruly, and you don’t feel like explaining yourself. (And best of luck using that line on a teenager.)
You obviously want what’s best for them, yet even if they trust you, they have a growing sense of curiosity and independence that can cause problems if they question things that are good for them.
This is particularly true for new disciplines that will be required of them, whether it’s potty training or learning to dress themselves. Those adult activities that we take for granted are completely different for them, and it’s easy to forget this amid the hustle and bustle of our overly scheduled lives.
Learning to brush their own teeth can be one of these problem points, as well.
If your child is resisting, or is showing any difficulty with the process, then their smile could already be at risk for the development of a serious condition.
Instilling good oral health habits at a young age is crucial for the proper development of their smiles into adulthood. Failure to do so can cause the rapid decline of the health of their teeth and gums, leading to gum disease, tooth loss, and the loss of confidence that comes with it.
Developing any of those conditions at such a young age can have a devastating effect on their self-esteem – not to mention racking up huge, unnecessary dental bills for procedures that could have been avoided.
That’s why it’s important to start your child brushing and flossing as early as possible; to head these problems off at the pass, so to speak.
Building Better Brushing Habits
In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, I want to share with you some tips and tricks that will get your child brushing, and avoiding harmful conditions that could destroy their budding smiles.
- Brush selection should be an adventure – When you go to buy their first (or next) toothbrush, do everything in your power to make the process more than just a trip to the drugstore or the supermarket. Take care to use positive, exciting language when describing the brush, and build the whole event up with no small amount of fanfare.
- Let them pick the brush – I can’t overstate the importance of allowing your child to pick the brush that most appeals to them. By giving them this seemingly small amount of power, you are reinforcing the importance of their own decision-making, which will reinforce a sense of pride when they use it. This will nurture their growing sense of independence.
- Brush with your child – If you can show your child that there’s nothing to fear when it comes to brushing, they will be much more likely to do it themselves. If you fail to maintain your own oral health, then why should your children take care of theirs? “Because I said so” doesn’t always work, so lead by example instead!
- Let them take control – Once a day, let your child brush their teeth all by themselves. Again, this tactic will reinforce their independence. At a certain age, there is nothing a child enjoys more than going through with one of their own ideas – even if that idea was originally yours!
- Bring them in for an exam – I don’t just fix smiles; I educate minds. When you bring your child to see your Nashua dentist for an examination, I can begin teaching them the “whys” of brushing. I’m sure that “why?” is a question you get tired of being asked, but when they get the answers from a gentle family dentist, they won’t have to ask it anymore when it comes to why they should brush their teeth.
When you combine all of those tips together, you get a blueprint for building a better smile for your child.
You can’t afford to fail in this task, so do you and your family a favor and schedule an appointment with me. I can be reached at 603-546-7460, or you can make an appointment online through this website.
Together, we can ensure the health and appearance of your family’s smile for years to come!