Everybody knows that if you manage to get a child into good oral hygiene habits at the earliest possible juncture, chances are they will stick for life. It’s the old theory regarding teaching an old dog new tricks and knowing that lessons learned in early life will always be the most important and influential for the years and decades to follow.
Of course, everyone has his or her own ideas as to what’s best when it comes to teaching their kids to keep their teeth clean and most will indeed have some good insights to share. However, dental professionals up and down the UK agree on a few key pointers that never fail to help nudge kids in the right direction, with the following four consistently proving to be pure gold:
Avoid Scare Tactics
Right off the bat, never try and scare kids into keeping their teeth clean and looking after their oral health. Chances are this will only ever backfire in spectacular style and have them end up resenting the idea of cleaning their teeth as nothing more than a necessary evil. The same also applies for the use of reverse psychology, which is a minefield to say the least and can often see things ending up worse than they were to begin with. Long story short therefore – rule out scare tactics as they really don’t work in this department.
One of the best ways to get kids more interested in oral health is to provide them with the most enticing and outright fun tools for the job you can find. Nowadays, toothbrushes for kids can be picked up in every shape, size and design imaginable with flashing lights and even some that play music for the exact duration they should be brushing. Just be sure to opt for a product that’s actually certified by the British Dental Foundation and you can pretty much bank on them begging to brush their teeth, rather than having to be forced.
Mint isn’t exactly number-one on a child’s top-ten list of flavours, so why not give thought to a toothpaste that tastes a little more pleasing for them? From strawberry to bubble-gum and in all manner of weird and wonderful colours, you can pick up a superbly effective toothpaste pretty much anywhere these days that as far as a child is concerned is more of a treat than a necessity. It is of course important to always minimise swallowing and communicate the fact that it isn’t a food, but there are few better ways of piquing their interests.
Lead by Example
Last but not least, never forget that it’s a case of “Monkey see, monkey do” when it comes the way in which your own habits rub off on your kids. As such, shun sugary drinks as nasty products, keep sweets to a minimum and let them see how well you look after your teeth and chances are they will fall into the same habits with much greater ease.