5 Ways to Explain the Benefits of Dental Preventive Care to Your Child
Dental preventive care plays an essential role in nurturing dental health from a young age. With that said, children should establish a good oral hygiene routine early on so that they don’t deal with serious dental health issues later in life. But this is sometimes easier said than done because kids can show a certain reluctance when it comes to accepting new habits.
Therefore, we’ve decided to give you five tips on how to explain the benefits of dental preventive care to your child thus helping them form a positive attitude and proactive approach to their dental health. You’re welcome!
#1 Tell Them It Won’t Hurt and Be There for Them
We all know at least one horror story about the dental exam that went wrong, leaving its “victim” with a mild (or not-so-mild!) case of dental PTSD. It might have happened to your sibling or your best friend, so they decided to start avoiding dental appointments altogether.
Joking aside, you can help your child have fun and relaxed dental visits by helping them prepare for the dental exam or dental treatment properly.
Firstly, give your best to assure them you will be there for them every step of the way. Hold their hand if necessary as they get that fluoride treatment or deep dental cleaning. Secondly, make sure to provide them with the facts regarding the treatment itself. Remember, they trust you, so be frank and open about everything. Also, tell them that it won’t hurt a bit. If possible, have the same treatment scheduled for the same day so they can see it’s painless with their own eyes. That way, they will be more willing to pay the visit to a dentist next time. Ultimately, this will set a stage for their future anxiety-free appointments!
#2 Motivate Them with Special, Dental-themed Rewards
If there’s one thing all kids have in common, it’s their love for presents! So, if you have a long-time family dentist, you can consult with them to see whether they’d be willing to give your child the small present you prepared for them once the treatment is complete. You can also check with their office to see if they have some sort of a “motivation” package program for their youngest patients. These can include cartoon-themed toothbrushes, kids’ toothpaste, or anything in between. However, it shouldn’t be anything big or pricey; the point is that a child gets the present for their bravery and be motivated to return for other dental treatments in the future.
#3 Don’t Frighten Them with Scary Stories and Use Positive Language
Don’t show them scary pictures of cavities and tooth decay as it can prove to be counterproductive. Instead of this fear-instilling approach, rather opt for lighter ways to send the message. For instance, you can write a short story with a happy ending with teeth as the main characters. When you talk about your dental visits, use positive language so that the child can see there’s nothing to be scared of.
#4 Set the Example By Exercising Daily Oral Hygiene in Front of Them
Children copy their parents’ behavior from the youngest of age. Even the babies! Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the most effective way to help them perceive the importance of dental preventive care is by showing them how to take care of their teeth at home. If they are still little, you can provide them assistance with brushing and flossing at least twice a day. And if they are older, you can brush and floss in front of a mirror together. Not only will this help them establish their oral care routine, but it will also strengthen the bond you have with your child.
Either way, the key is to be consistent with it. They will follow your example because they want to be like you. It’s easier than you think!
#5 Make It All Part of a Fun Game
To make it more fun for them, you can even put together a brushing playlist or even write a short brushing song yourself. If you’re feeling super-creative, you can devise a choreography to follow your song to make your child laugh and make the entire process even more entertaining. Don’t shy away from it; it’s all about creating a fun yet useful routine that will entice your child to exercise the preventive dental routine at home. Don’t be surprised if you notice that your kid is thrilled to participate in this sort of activity with you!
How did you manage to explain the importance of dental preventive care to your child? Do you think we forgot to mention anything? Don’t be reluctant to share your opinion in the comments below!