It’s important that parents start good dental practices early with their children. Our children look up to us as role models and if we are diligent about brushing and flossing and about visiting a dentist regularly, our children will follow our example and this will lead to their having a happy, healthy smile.
How can you get your child excited about good oral hygiene?
The dentists and dental hygienists from Gendler Dental Center in Hopkins, Minnesota offer these tips:
- Buy dental products that are child-friendly. If you buy toothbrushes and toothpaste that appeal to your child, he will be more likely to want to brush.
- Take your child to the store and make a fun game out of letting her choose her own toothbrush and toothpaste. NOTE: You should look for a toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Ask your child what flavor of toothpaste he or she wants. If they can’t decide you might want to pick up more than one flavor so they can choose a different flavor every time they brush.
- Ask us what is age appropriate for your child and his or her toothbrushing routine. We can also show you and your child the best method of brushing.
- Set a timer or play a favorite song and have your child brush until the timer goes off or the song ends. Make brushing a fun game that you do together. You can even dance around the bathroom while you brush!
- When your child gets older you can explain the importance of brushing because it will prevent cavities. Teach them about tooth decay and about tooth-friendly foods they should be eating. Remember, just as your children will learn good dental habits from watching you, they will also learn healthy eating habits from you.
Find a child-friendly dental practice
Keep in mind that children have no reason to fear the dentist. Dental fear and dental phobia is a learned experience based on a bad dental experience. Finding a child-friendly dentist makes going to the dentist seem like a day at the park!
Don’t say to your child, “don’t be afraid of the dentist” because he or she isn’t naturally afraid and has no reason to think he or she will be afraid unless you feed that fear. A child-friendly dental practice like Gendler Dental puts children at ease by explaining what happening in terms a child would understand.
Good dental habits start early and last a lifetime. Set a great example. Find a child-friendly dentist and give our Hopkins, MN dental office a call to schedule your child’s appointment today!