Do you spend time each and every night arguing with your kids about brushing their teeth? Does getting your kids to brush their teeth before school, in the mornings, feel like pulling teeth, pun intended? Many parents start to feel like the dental care police, when it comes to caring for their kids’ smiles. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be your fate! If you would like to step out of the role of smile sheriff, there are some simple steps recommended by children’s dentists that you can use to help get your kids excited about their own oral care.
Give Them Control Over Their Oral Care, Within Reason
While you probably can’t let your kids determine when they are going to brush their own teeth, you can help give them some autonomy over their oral care. For instance, with young kids, letting them choose their own toothbrushes can feel empowering and exciting. There are also several kid-friendly flavored toothpastes on the market, that are safe and effective, but still more fun than traditional mint-flavored pastes. These might seem like minor changes, but anything that can help your kids feel excited about their oral care, can help make your job, parenting, much easier.
What Else Can You Do to Help?
Another important thing to do is to speak positively with your kids about visiting the dentist. Since routine preventive care, like exams and screenings, is crucial throughout one’s life, teaching them to look forward to visiting the dentist, or at least to be okay with the process, can serve them well.
Of course, you should also help to model positive dental behavior by brushing and flossing your own teeth regularly, and by visiting the dentist (with a positive attitude) as well!
If you, yourself, struggle with anxiety about seeing the dentist, talk to your dentist about how sedation could help.