Ultimately, it is our child's responsibility to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once. This is much easier said than done so what can parents do to ensure their children engage in a healthy hygiene routine?
The biggest influence in children's oral health is parental involvement. Over 95% of kids learn by what they are modeled, not by what we tell them to do. It is essential that parents not only model what a healthy oral regime looks like but that they also help to create a routine that works best for their child. Here are some suggestions on how to create a routine that will stick.
Make it Fun Parents can sing a song or make a rhyme about tooth brushing while their child is brushing away. There are also a number of books you can read to kids about brushing. The answer lies in exploring these options and figuring out which ones work best for you and your family. I'll Brush Yours and You Brush Mine Have the parents brush the child's teeth and have your child tell you if you missed any spots. Switch and Repeat. Another alternative is to come in at the end of your child's brushing and act as a street cleaner. Give your child a final tooth "sweep." (Make sure to do the sound effect of the street cleaner).
Offer Choices Example: Ask your child, "Do you want to brush/floss your upper teeth or lower teeth first?" You can also have your child pick a fun toothbrush, or have them pick out the toothpaste they would like to use.
Have Your Dentist Talk to Your Kids about Oral Hygiene Expectations Have your dentist (the expert) share with your child about why it's important to keep their teeth and their gums healthy with regular brushing and flossing.