Are you having trouble getting off on the right foot (or maybe the right tooth?) with your kids’ oral hygiene habits? You’re certainly not alone—one of the biggest challenges parents face is teaching kids about oral hygiene.
The Super Dentists knows the importance of instilling positive dental care habits at an early age. With tooth decay rates higher than ever, it’s always a good idea to start a sustainable, practical dental care schedule as early as possible. As the preferred dental care provider for parents and children across San Diego, The Super Dentists is well-equipped to help you and your kids establish lifelong positive habits.
Oral Hygiene Habits from the Experts
Good dental habits are essential for overall health and well-being. But it’s one thing to learn about these habits and quite another to put those behaviors into practice.
The Super Dentists reached out to those in the know about this subject—including concerned parents, bloggers and other children’s health advocates—for their take on teaching kids about oral hygiene. Their responses are informative, succinct and applicable for anyone interested in teaching kids about oral hygiene.
We realize there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this challenging task. But with sound advice from those who’ve been there and done that, we hope you find tips worth trying.
For Alexandra Fung, CEO of Upparent, dental anxiety proved to be a major hurdle on the journey to good oral health. “When my older kids were preschool-aged, they were both afraid of the dentist,” said Ms. Fung. “The number one thing that helped them overcome their anxiety was to explain the process to them, so they knew what to expect and what was happening at every stage of the visit.”
Ms. Fung’s children fought a fear that afflicts many young kids.. Thankfully, cooperative and caring dental care professionals helped them overcome their dental anxiety. “The dentists and hygienists that most helped them overcome their fear were those who engaged in this instruction as they went through the consultation as well, speaking to the children directly and answering their questions as they came up. With my youngest child, we are still at the stage where we need to convince him to brush his teeth every day!”
Ms. Fung’s concern about dental anxiety is widespread among many parents and kids. That’s one reason why The Super Dentists’ patient-friendly offices include augmented reality experiences, colorful characters and plenty of fun activities to lessen the worry associated with dental visits—especially anxiety about that ever-important first trip to the dentist! If your child is especially anxious, let our Super Crew know when you’re scheduling your visit. We also advise arriving a bit early so your child has a chance to acclimate before they are called back. The Super Dentists offers fun activities that will give your child a positive association with going to the dentist.
A solid foundation of dental knowledge starts at home. Charlene Hess, who runs the homeschool blog called Hess Un-Academy, illustrates how positive routines can assist in teaching kids about good oral hygiene habits. Part of this encouraging reinforcement isn’t just about memory—it also involves using melody!
“We taught our kids how to brush their teeth with one small trick – we would sing a song!” Ms. Hess explained. “I would pick a short and sweet song (usually the ABC’s, but not always) and would sing this song while I brushed their teeth. I could slow down the song or speed up the song or make funny voices. This technique kept the kids distracted and entertained while I got their teeth cleaned. I don’t know if this was a coincidence or not, but none of my kids have ever been afraid of the dentist.”
The Super Dentists is definitely “in tune” with Ms. Hess’s line of thinking. We designed our popular Super Toothbrush for sing-along activities, with a built-in two-minute song (the recommended time for brushing). The best chance to develop positive dental health starts young, and our Super Toothbrush is an ideal way to instill habits that last a lifetime. With four characters, colorful graphics and ergonomic design, our brushes enable any child to enjoy their own super brushing experience.
Teaching kids about oral hygiene is sometimes more about what NOT to do than about following a particular set of guidelines. Cendu Param of the Cenzerely Yours blog stresses that too much bottle time before bed can lead to dental problems. “We make sure we don’t ever give our little guy a bottle to fall asleep with,” explained Ms. Param. “This pretty much guarantees you’ll end up with cavities so don’t do it! He has his last milk well before bed and then he has his nightly ritual of brushing his teeth, bath time, PJs, a story and off to bed.”
Consistency and establishing a routine is always important. “Because we’ve been consistent, he already knows what to expect. We don’t even have to prompt him anymore, he knows his day begins and ends with brushing his teeth,” said Ms. Param.
Regarding dental visits, Ms. Param sets a positive example—literally. “Going to the dentist can be scary whether you’re young or old. I absolutely hated it as a child! You can make the transition easier for your little one by letting them watch you first.” Many parents don’t realize they can pass on their fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist on to their children. Even if visiting the dentist is not your most favorite activity, try to talk about it in neutral terms, so your children won’t key in on your feelings. Setting a positive example is one of the best things parents can do.
Visit The Super Dentists for the Best Pediatric Dental Care in San Diego
The Super Dentists is here to help with all of your pediatric dentistry needs. From super-cool toothbrushes to a wealth of information and resources for parents, we’re the #1 advocate and provider of quality dental care throughout San Diego!
Parents and kids are encouraged to visit our Patient Education portal, which boasts an incredible assortment of patient-friendly resources. Explore helpful information on dental emergencies, daily care tips and tricks, general and orthodontic information and much more. The Super Dentists is passionate about giving our patients the most comprehensive information—after all, dental health is essential for the entire family. That’s why our online knowledge base continues to grow all the time. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to visit your nearest Super Dentists office and let us help you.