Helping Your Kids Have Healthy Dental Habits

Family Dentistry in Wellesley, MA at Tocci Dental Associates | Dr. Jeff Tocci

Because you’re a parent, you have the responsibility to help your kids grow up right. That means lots of things, but it certainly includes their dental health. After all, you can’t always be there to remind them to brush and floss, right?

Call our Wellesley, MA dental office today at 781-304-8172 to schedule a family dentistry appointment. Dr. Tocci is trained to work with children as young as 1 year old, and he’s great with kids of all ages. A thorough dental exam will help identify any problems that might be lurking in your kids’ smiles.

Family Dentistry Habits Need Help To Get Started

What’s the difference between a habit and anything else you do? A habit is usually done without thinking too much about it. You don’t have to remember a habit; it’s just a normal part of your day.

That’s why it’s so important to give your kids some healthy dental habits. The more they take care of their teeth and gums, the less help they’ll need from a dentist. This translates to less cost for you and a healthier, better-looking smile for them.

There are two keys to making a habit stick.

  • 1. Explain why a habit is important. Even kids have trouble doing things if they don’t understand why they help.
  • 2. Keep repeating the action over and over again. That’s what works with coaches and sports, so the more your kids do something, the more they’ll turn that into a healthy habit.

Tips For Building Healthy Dental Habits

Here are some specific habits that will help your kids’ smiles and some tips for getting them established.

Make appointments for you and your kids around the same time.

To children, even the best dental office can be a bit scary. There are all kinds of strange sounds, smells, noises, and people there. That means kids can start to develop dental anxiety at an early age.

To combat that, you should make their dental exams right around yours. Not only will your presence help your children feel more confident and safe, they’ll see you getting your dental exam and realize these are important things to do when they’re adults.

Consider diet soda and fruit juice as desserts or rare treats.

Kids love a glass of juice, and it does have some good vitamins in it. However, fruit juice is very bad for their teeth. It’s full of sugar and acid, both of which lead to cavities and gum disease. Diet soda has no sugar, but it still has lots of acid. It’s also normally dark enough to stain teeth.

Don’t let your kids get into the habit of drinking fruit juice or diet soda regularly. Treat both as you would desserts: treats to have on occasion, just not all the time.

Let your kids select their own toothbrushes at the store.

Because they’re so young, your kids often cannot make decisions. While that’s understandable to adults, kids can sometimes crave having some control over their lives. You can take advantage of this to build a healthy dental habit by letting your kids pick out their own toothbrushes. This increases the likelihood of your kids wanting to brush, which can help develop that into a habit.

Every so often, make sure your kids see you brushing and flossing.

Children can’t wait to grow up. That’s why so many play “grown up” and pretend to be adults. If they see you on your phone a lot, they’ll start playing with a pretend phone. But the opposite is also true. If they never see you brushing or flossing, they’ll assume that’s not a grown-up thing.

You don’t have to make a spectacle of it, but every now and then, make sure your kids see that you brush and floss just like you want them to. That will increase the chances that your kids will develop the healthy habit of brushing and flossing when they grow up.

Call us TODAY at 781-304-8172 or send us a message using our online form to schedule family dentistry appointment for you and your kids. Dr. Tocci has the right combination of gentle manner and expert training to help your family keep their smiles bright and healthy.