Helping Build Great Dental Habits In Your Kids

July 11, 2017

It’s your job to raise your kids. It’s a great job, but there are times when it’s overwhelming. That’s where great habits can help. If your family gets into healthy habits, you won’t have to hover over them ensuring things get done.

Call our Roseville, CA dental office today at 916-945-9985 to make your next family dentistry appointment. Dr. Miller is family-oriented and works great with children of all ages. Even kids with their baby teeth need regular visits to keep their smile healthy.

How Actions Become Habits

When can something be called a habit? It’s when you can do it without thinking. You might not be doing it every single day without fail — everyone makes mistakes — but it’s more automatic than something you have to think about.

So when your family has great dental health habits, they can protect their teeth and gums without thinking about it. That means it can happen much more frequently. Plus, you don’t have to constantly remind your kids to brush.

How can you help turn an action into a habit? There are two tips.

  • Make sure you explain why something is good for your family. The more they understand why brushing is important, the more likely they will do it. But if they don’t understand it, why bother?
  • Then get your family to do the same action over and over again. It helps to do it at the same time of day and in the same environment (like always brushing in hallway bathroom around 8 pm). Repetition like this helps build the muscle memory and brain pathways needed for it to become automatic.

Giving Kids Great Family Dentistry Habits

There are technically many things your family can be doing to help protect their smiles, so here are some specific ways you can build great dental habits in your family.

Treat juice and soda like a dessert

Juice is full of vitamins, so it’s healthy for you in some ways. But juice is also full of sugar and acid. Both can lead to more cavities and gum disease. Regular soda is just as bad. Although diet soda has no sugar, it’s still highly acidic. By treating both drinks as desserts, you can help your family get into the habit of not drinking them.

Sometimes let your children see you brushing and flossing

Kids love imitating adults. They always seem ready to do “grown up” things. That’s why you can help build a habit of brushing and flossing their teeth by letting them see you do just that. If they never see you cleaning your teeth, they can assume it’s just a kids thing. To be more grown up, they stop it. But when they realize you brush and floss, you can turn that desire to do “grown up” things to everyone’s advantage.

Come in for your own appointment along with your children’s

Along the same lines, your family needs to see that you take regular dental visits seriously. That’s why you should call our Roseville dentist to make an appointment of your own right along with ones for your kids. Besides, children can sometimes get intimidated in the dentist’s office. Your presence can make those early visits more enjoyable, increasing the likelihood of developing the habit of regular dental exams and cleanings.

Allow your kids to pick out their own toothbrush at the store

Because they’re so young and inexperienced, children cannot make a lot of decisions for themselves. Otherwise, they might try to live on breakfast cereal and cookies every day! You can use this to help build the habit of regular brushing. Take your kids to the store and let them pick their own toothbrush. Giving them a little bit of control like that can make the toothbrush special, increasing the chance that they’ll brush their teeth regularly.

Call Advanced Dental Concepts today at 916-945-9985 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next family dentistry appointment. Dr. Miller is well-trained in working with children’s dental issues. Our team can also make your family’s visits enjoyable and help kids feel safe and welcome at our Roseville, CA dental office.

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