If you set a good oral health care example in your daily life, you can help your child develop great oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
Caring for your child’s dental health can mean more than simply making sure they brush and floss regularly, and that they keep regular dental appointments for check ups and cleanings.
These activities are, of course, absolutely integral to your child’s oral health. However, your own oral health care example is a less obvious ways that you can influence your child's oral health choice in a positive, or negative, way.
To be a good oral health care role model for your child, taking some of the following steps will help.
Demonstrate That You Feel Comfortable with Visiting the Dentist
If you get scared, anxious or uncomfortable about visiting the dentist, your child may well be able to pick up on it, and may develop his or her own anxieties as a result.
Your child may think, if big, brave dad is afraid of visiting the dentist, then maybe there's something to fear for me, too!
Many people feel uneasy about dental treatment, and overcoming this common anxiety isn’t easy. However, it’s certainly worth trying, for your own sake of course, and for your kids', too.
Talk to your dentist about what you can do to feel more comfortable with dental care. It's highly important to most dental professionals that their patients feel comfortable and safe during treatment, and so your dentist will likely be glad to give you some guidance and advice on this issue, or to take steps during treatment that will set you more at ease.
Meanwhile, try to hide any fear or discomfort you’re feeling from your kids as well as you can. Stay calm and positive when talking about dentistry when they're around, and avoid making any negative comments, or referring to any negative dental experiences you may have had had in the past.
Demonstrate Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Don't just tell your kids to brush and floss daily; be sure to do it yourself, too.
making a good impression when they’re young and more easily influenced is ideal, but even older children and teenagers will be more likely to listen you when you emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene habits if they see that you practice them faithfully.
Demonstrate Healthy Eating Habits
Providing your children with lots of of healthy snacks is wonderful, but let them know that you value your own health as well.
Children are perceptive, and they will certainly notice if you don't practice what you preach.
If you encourage your children to eat nutritionally dense, wholesome foods, but don't eat them as much as you should yourself, they will take note. This will serve to undermine your words your words, and your kids may resent that you hold them to a higher standard than you hold yourself.
In these different ways, you can show your children that taking care of your oral health is important to you. And, it will allow you to exercise a positive influence over their own oral health care choices - both now, and as they grow up into adults.