Pediatric Dentistry: Getting Kids to Care About their Teeth

dental hygiene for kids

If you want kids to care about their teeth and oral health, there are some tips for parents that can have an impact on their kids’ dental hygiene. First and foremost, you need great dental care in Roanoke that specialize in family practice and that can foster a rapport with your child; the right dentist can make a significant difference in the type of experience your child has when going to their appointments.

So, what else can you do to get kids to care about their teeth?

Start Small
Start getting kids to care about oral health when they are little; give them child-friendly toothbrushes to practice and learn- even before they have teeth! In fact, it is recommended that kids see a dentist before teeth have erupted through the gums, usually around a year of age. While some may not have teeth for the dentist to clean during these appointments, the experience and familiarity with the provider can help the child during follow-up visits.

Be a Role Model
Demonstrate the importance of good oral habits with your own hygiene and dental practices. Show kids that you care by brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly- as well as going to your own dental exams and appointments. Show them that there is nothing to fear during these visits.

Create a Continuum of Care
Try to find a dentist that will be there and treat your child for years to come. Switching from dentist to dentist may create anxiety or angst during each new, initial visit; a provider that can create a continuum of care for your child, seeing them across their lifespan, is a great goal for parents when seeking a dentist.

Eat Well
Provide kids with the building blocks of good oral health by feeding them a diet rich in foods that facilitate healthy teeth. Vitamins A and D, as well as calcium, are all integral to teeth and bones; limit sugary snacks and acidic treats that can wear away enamel and make teeth susceptible to decay.

Quell Fears
Try to quell your child’s fears surrounding going to the dentist. Consider age-appropriate books that deal with the subject and that might be found online or through your local library. Do not build-up the visit too much and try to introduce the child to the dentist at least one time prior to their first examination to reduce anxiety.

Make it Fun
It can help to make the dental visit- as well as dental hygiene in general- more fun for kids. Start with shopping for toothbrushes, trying fun-flavored toothpaste, or giving stickers for basic oral hygiene habits. Create a day of it when going to dental appointments by including a visit to a park or playground after.

We pride ourselves on providing family dental care in Roanoke, that means, we will treat your children across the lifespan. We understand that going to the dentist can be scary for some; we want to make the experience less stressful and make you- and your children- as comfortable as possible. Call to schedule an appointment or to discuss your concerns with our team today!