It hardly seems possible that it is 2019 already, yet here we are. If you have school-aged children, they may have had two or more weeks of vacation where they got out of their routines entirely. Even younger children who are not used to having their parents home from work all day over the holiday break may struggle to get back to a predictable schedule. Although it is common to become inconsistent with oral healthcare routines over the holidays, you can follow these simple tips from our pediatric dentists to get your kids back on track.
Help Your Kids Establish Their Own Toothbrushing Routine
Your kids may have been wonderful about getting up on time and completing all of their grooming tasks while school was in session. Unfortunately, it only takes a few days of being away from the routine to make it more challenging for them to adhere to it. They may have gotten up several hours later during vacation and only brushed their teeth when you reminded them to do it. It is essential to get back into a regular routine for oral healthcare before tooth decay has a chance to set in permanently.
If you have toddlers or preschoolers, they depend on you to set the stage for them when it comes to toothbrushing. Let them know that they need to do this at least twice a day at certain times of the day. You will need to direct most of the toothbrushing yourself for children this young, but your kids will learn that it happens at a specific times each day.
You can allow older children to develop their own oral healthcare routine to help them learn personal responsibility. However, you should also let them know that you will resume supervising if they have cavities at their next dental check-up or other problems that are within their control.
Teach Your Kids to Floss Their Teeth if They Don’t Already
Flossing is just as important to a good oral healthcare routine as toothbrushing. If your children don’t currently floss, allow them to observe you doing it and then explain how to do it themselves. Start by looping the floss around one of your child’s fingers from each hand and guide the floss between two of the bottom teeth. You can then ask your child to demonstrate the same technique for each of the remaining teeth. You will likely need to supervise for a while until your soon or daughter feels confident enough to floss independently.
Provide Your Children with Healthy Snacks
Now that school is back in session, your kids are certain to come home hungry from a full day of learning. Having healthy snacks available as soon as your child gets home will help him or her make it to dinner without reaching for candy or other less healthy alternatives. We recommend limiting the availability of sugary snacks and drinks and stocking your refrigerator and shelves with some of these alternatives:
- Cheese sticks
- Whole-grain crackers
Please don’t hesitate to contact Nia Pediatric Dentistry with additional questions about your children’s oral healthcare or to schedule a preventive care exam.