Though baby teeth fall out as children get older, parents shouldn’t wait to instill great dental health habits in little ones. There’s no better time to start teaching these important lessons than when the big yellow school bus pulls up for the first day of school.
Back-to-school season is the perfect time to start teaching your kids about healthy dental habits like brushing and flossing, because they’re already absorbing so much new information. Additionally, the added structure of going back to class helps get them in a rhythm of proper care.
Healthy Dental Habits: Morning and Night
Summer can bring unpredictable schedules, late bedtimes, and frequent nights away from home. Now that your kids are back in a set routine most days, try to find other regular morning and evening activities to tether dental habits to.
Get them in the habit of brushing twice a day – once after breakfast, and once before bed – as well as flossing every day by building these activities right into the schedule. Before they grab their backpack, ask if they’ve brushed. After dinner and homework is completed, check again.
You can incorporate flossing with brushing (preferably at night), or at another time of day, like after dinner, when they get home from school, or after an afternoon snack.
Participate For Your Own Dental Health
If homework, getting up on time, and the other struggles of a new school year feel like a lot, it can be easy to let brushing fall by the wayside. But you still seem to make time for your own dental health, right?
Instead of sending your little one into the bathroom to brush alone, try joining them at the sink. Even if it’s earlier than you’d usually brush your own teeth, leading by example and incorporating your actual health practices with theirs can help them see that it’s not such a big deal and will encourage you to keep up your dental health habits too.
This can also become a ritual for catching up on their day. Find out what else they’re learning in school and see how you can translate it into oral health habits and healthy practices.
Don’t Forget the Water
Regularly sipping water can help flush away food particles and bacteria. Luckily, many classrooms have begun encouraging students to bring water bottles into class. Remind your kids that drinking water is not only good for their stomach, skin, and other organs, but also for their teeth!
Don’t worry if it takes some time for these habits to really stick; though many people still believe that habits form in just 21 days, it’s more likely that it’ll take a few months before brushing and flossing become part of the routine. But it’s worth the effort – a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles start with early intervention.
Wondering how to help your kids form lifelong habits?
Caring for your gums and teeth is important, from childhood on. Make sure to set a good example for little ones by properly brushing and flossing every day, and visiting LaBell Dentistry for regular cleanings and checkups. Dr. Terry LaBell can also help you decide if dental implants make sense for you. Call the office at 877-402-1246 or use the online contact form to schedule a consultation today.