It’s tough raising kids no matter how “good” they can be. They’re children. That means they are going to forget things, have different priorities, and need help knowing how to take care of themselves. When it comes to family dentistry, that means helping your kids develop great dental habits. After all, you’re not always going to be there to remind them about brushing and flossing at night.
Call our Hellertown, PA dental office today at 484-858-0949 to make your next family dentistry appointment. Both of our Hellertown dentists are great with kids, and they know how to be a children’s dentist to help them feel safe while taking care of their teeth and gums.
How An Action Becomes A Habit
With a habit, you don’t have to spend time thinking or remembering to do it. For example, driving is a habit for most adults. You don’t think about how much pressure to put on the pedal or when to use the turn signal — it comes naturally.
That’s why it’s helpful to turn dental actions like brushing and flossing into great habits. Once your children have these habits and more, their dental health will improve both now and when they’re adults. They won’t have to think about taking care of their smiles — they just will.
How can you help your kids’ actions become habits?
- Start by making sure your children understand why something is good for their teeth and gums. If they know why brushing helps, for example, they are more likely to want to do it.
- Then have your kids do the same action repeatedly in the same place and at the same time each day. Repetition is key to moving something into a habit, and keeping the environment the same each time helps that happen faster.
Specific Family Dentistry Tips
Brushing and flossing are obvious habits you want your kids to have, but there are others that can help. Here are a few dental habit your kids should have and some tips on building them.
– Let your children have a choice of which toothbrush to buy
By necessity, children cannot make a lot of decisions in their lives. They’re just not educated or mature enough to make such choices — or they’ll end up eating breakfast cereal and cookies for every meal! You can take advantage of that by letting your kids pick out their own toothbrush. Giving them that little choice can help make that brush special, increasing the odds they’ll brush their teeth repeatedly until it becomes a habit.
– Come in for your appointment along with your kids’ visits
Even a dental office that’s great with kids like our Hellertown, PA one can be intimidating to children, especially young ones. They’re taught not to trust strangers, but then they get taken to a place full of strangers who want to touch their teeth!
They need to have great times to develop the habit of wanting to visit a dentist regularly. That’s why you should call us at 484-858-0949 and make your next appointment to coincide with theirs. Our Hellertown dentists can treat your whole family. By coming in with your kids for your own dental exam, you show your kids there’s nothing to be worried about.
– Make sure your kids see you brush and floss from time to time
Kids love playing “grown up.” It’s like they’re in a hurry to become an adult, so they love doing what they see their parents doing. If you talk on the phone a lot, chances are they’ll have a pretend phone to use. But the opposite is also true — they don’t want to do what they never see grown-ups doing.
That’s why letting your children see you brush and floss can help develop those habits in them. Once they realize cleaning their teeth isn’t just a thing kids do, they’ll be more likely to brush and floss on their own, building both actions into habits.
– Treat juice and soda like they’re rare treats
You know to limit how much sugar your kids eat because it leads to more cavities and gum disease. But you have to be careful about juice for the same reason. It’s very sugary, but it’s also very acidic. All that acid can weaken your kids’ enamel. Even diet soda has a lot of acid in it.
You probably cannot ban both drinks entirely, so treat them like rare treats for special occasions. If you serve plain water by default, your kids can develop the habit of drinking water instead of juice or soda.
Call us TODAY at 484-858-0949 or contact us online to schedule your next family dentistry appointment. Dr. Hunsicker-Morrissey and Dr. Garubba know how to work with children so they can feel comfortable while getting the dental care they need.