Children are amazing, but they can be a handful. As a parent, you have to help raise them. That means taking care of their dental needs since they aren’t old enough to do that on their own. But that can be tiring after you’ve reminded them to brush their teeth so many times in a row.
That’s where dental habits can help. By turning actions like brushing and avoiding sweets into a habit, your kids can start to take care of this without your supervision. And every parent could use some extra time in their day.
Call our Panama City, FL dental office today at 850-588-0185 to make your next family dentistry appointment. Dr. Patel is your Panama City dentist who works great with children age 5 and older. In fact, Dr. Patel can see children, adults, and seniors, so you can bring your whole family to Panama City Smiles.
How Habits Are Made
The great thing about a habit is that you’re almost running on autopilot. It’s not something you have to put effort in to remember, and that means it’s much more likely to happen. Think of driving a car. You probably don’t think too much about braking or accelerating; both are a habit, so you just do them.
Your children are working on learning how to take care of their teeth and gums. That’s why making dental habits is so important. Chances are, their minds are racing with all kinds of activities and fun stuff. Remembering to brush before bed just isn’t a priority for them yet.
Then how are these dental habits established?
- Start by making sure your kids understand why these habits are necessary. If they don’t understand what cavities are, they won’t care about brushing and flossing.
- Then have your kids do the same thing at the same time of day in the same place. Keep repeating this over and over again for weeks. Repetition, especially in the same environment, helps turn an action into a habit.
Family Dentistry Habits For Your Kids
Here are a few tips that go beyond repetition in building great dental habits in your children.
– On occasion, brush and floss in front of your children
Kids love playing grownup. They always seem in a rush to grow up and do what adults do. You can leverage that to build a great dental habit by letting them see you brushing and flossing like you ask them to do. If they never see you doing that, they assume adults don’t have to take care of their teeth. But when they see you doing it, they’re more likely to do it themselves.
– Make your appointment just before your kids’ appointments
Any dental office can be a bit intimidating to kids. There are just too many unusual things going on. Those feelings can linger and make it harder for them to get dental care as an adult. To help build the opposite habit, make an appointment for yourself along with your kids. You’ll be able to be with our Panama City dentist when he sees your kids, making them feel more secure and happy about the whole thing.
– Take your kids to the store so they can pick out their own toothbrush
Because children are not mature, they can’t make a lot of decisions for themselves. Even picking out clothes in the morning can be a bad idea. That means children can often really value when they get to make a choice. By letting your kids pick out their own toothbrush, you can make it special to them. That can translate into more brushing, which can turn into a great dental habit later on.
– Serve water as the default drink for meals and snacks
Kids love sweet stuff. If they had their choice, they’d probably drink tons of juice, soda, and chocolate milk. But all that sugar is bad for their teeth, making this an unhealthy habit to get into. You can help your children get a healthy one by serving water as the default drink in your home. Do this often enough, and your kids can grow up to expect water instead of other unhealthy drinks.
Call us TODAY at 850-588-0185 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next family dentistry appointment. Dr. Patel is great with kids, and he has the training needed to help keep their teeth strong and healthy.