Your child should first see a dentist for the first time by the age of one year, and then at least once a year thereafter. But as your child ages, you'll find that they tend to be much more interested in having fun than in taking care of their teeth. So it's important to instill proper dental care habits at home, and encourage the extension of those habits when they're spending time at a friend's house, at camp, or at an extended family's place. Here are four easy ways to encourage your child to practice proper dental care when they aren't being personally supervised by you.
Practice Proper Habits At Home
While away, it isn't always possible or convenient to take care of teeth the same way they're taken care of at home. But there is no reason that a good brushing can't be done even while camping. Develop a short yet effective brushing regimen to practice a couple of times a week, and call the process something catchy that your child enjoys, such as "the travel brush rush" so there is a distinction between regular dental care at home and the shortened version reserved for times away from home.
When your child is encouraged to use a less time consuming method of brushing their teeth, they'll be more likely to actually follow the process. If expected to brush for three minutes, floss, and then rinse with mouthwash, chances are that they'll be inclined to skip the practice altogether in favor of the fun they're having while away from home.
Create A Small Care Package
A great way to encourage your little one to take care of their teeth while away from home is to pack a small box or bag of items to make dental care easy and fun. Include an "away" toothbrush, maybe designed to look like a Disney character or colorfully off shape. A small tube of flavored toothpaste to look forward to when it's time to brush and even a few pieces of sugar-free candy as tooth-friendly snacks will help round the care package out.
Provide A Dental Diary To Fill Out
Providing a small dental diary to keep while away will give your child a sense of responsibility, and make it more likely that they'll take the time to think about caring for their teeth at some point in the day. You can create a reward system based around the diary by offering something fun, like a new coloring book or a day at the movies, in exchange for filled out diary entries once your little one returns back home.
Keep things simple—ask them to put checkmarks on the days they follow their dental action plan and a sentence or two about their day overall, and how their teeth felt after brushing them. If your child is too young to write, provides stickers that can be applied to each day that they brush their teeth.
Ask Other People For Help
Whether staying at a family member's house or a friend's house, there is no reason you can't ask for a little help to keep your child on track with their dental regime. Simply ask the adult who will be supervising your child to offer a small reminder about brushing their teeth once a day. This will help ensure that the importance of the task is kept in mind, resulting in a greater chance of your little one following through with their dental care practices.
Encouraging dental hygiene practices no matter what the living or social situation is for your child will help ensure a long life of healthy teeth as well as minimal pain and health issues. For more information, talk to your dentist or visit a website like http://www.drheimann.com.
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