6 Ways To Encourage Good Oral Hygiene Habits In Your Kids

Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is important for kids as it can influence the quality of their lives. You should be able to encourage them to take care of their teeth when they’re still young.  This could avoid many health problems, such as tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases later in their lives. 

Aside from having a healthy mouth, good oral hygiene can prevent infections that might cause problems with your kids’ ability to eat, play, speak, and learn. Poor oral health can often cause children to miss school, receive lower grades, and have poor self-esteem.

Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Young boy looking at the mirror with toothy smile sitting on the chair with dentist and assistant at the dental office

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to encourage good oral hygiene habits in your kids. This task can be challenging, but the tips below can surely help.

  • Visit The Dentist Regularly

Teaching your kids how to properly brush and floss is easy but diagnosing oral health problems requires professional help. Visually inspecting your children’s mouth isn’t enough to determine the cause of their toothache and other oral health problems. 

One of the best ways to encourage good oral hygiene habits in your kids is to regularly take them to the dentist. A dentist can properly assess your children’s oral health, identify problems, and recommend appropriate courses of action. Introducing your kids to a dentist early will also prevent them from developing dental fear and anxiety. 

Depending on your location, you can click here or research more to know the best dentist in your area. You can think of your dentist as your ally as they have several tricks up their sleeves to help you encourage good oral hygiene in your kids. 

  • Make Oral Hygiene Part Of Their Daily Routine

A child’s daily routine will usually involve a lot of sleeping, eating, and playing. Only a very few will actually like brushing their teeth. Most children will find brushing their teeth a tiresome and time-consuming chore that they’ll look for excuses to avoid doing it. 

Make it easier for your kids to brush their teeth by incorporating it into their daily routine. For example, you can make it the first thing they do after eating and before bed.

In this way, brushing their teeth will feel more natural.

  • Teach Your Kids How To Floss

Brushing isn’t enough to maintain a healthy mouth. Your kids also need to floss to remove plaque and prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria in their mouths. Flossing is also essential to clean in between their teeth, an area that a toothbrush can’t easily reach. 

Teaching your kids how to floss properly is a great way to encourage good oral hygiene. You can do this by demonstrating how it’s done on your teeth and then helping them maneuver the floss in their mouth. It’s recommended to visit a Cary, NC dentist to get a professional cleaning. Over time, you can floss together and put on some music to make the activity more fun.

  • Encourage A Healthy Diet

What your children eat regularly can significantly affect their oral health. All of your efforts to teach them how to brush and floss will be useless if you don’t pay attention to their diet. 

Another way to encourage good oral hygiene habits in kids is to teach them how to make healthier food choices. By consuming healthier foods, your kids will have lesser risks of cavities, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. 

Follow these tips in choosing healthier foods for your little ones:

  • Stack fruits and vegetables at home: Instead of letting your kids snack on junk and processed foods, encourage them to consume more fruits and vegetables during the day. Chewing crunchy vegetables, like carrots and water chestnuts can stimulate the gums. Fiber-rich fruits such as apples and oranges can clean their teeth, massage their gums, and increase salivation. 
  • Serve more cheese: Cheese, especially Monterey jack, swiss, and cheddar, can encourage the flow of saliva. This will make it easier for your kids’ mouths to wash food particles away from their teeth.
  • Avoid sugary foods: Gradually remove sugary foods, such as hard candies, mints, and lollipops from your kids’ diet. Aside from putting your kids at risk of obesity, sugary food can also cause tooth decay as this coats the teeth with excessive amounts of sugar.


  • Offer Rewards

Encouraging your kids to look after their oral health long-term isn’t easy. Sure, they might brush and floss their teeth for two consecutive days but might eventually lose interest in continuing it.

If you want good oral hygiene habits to be innate in your kids, offer rewards. These incentives will encourage your children to regularly take care of their mouths. They’ll likely prioritize keeping their mouths healthy when they know that they’re getting something out of their efforts.

Depending on your preferences, you can give out rewards when your kids brush and floss their teeth without being told or when they do these activities for three consecutive weeks. You can also give rewards when they choose to snack on fruits and vegetables instead of candies. 

When giving rewards to your children, refrain from giving candies and other sweet treats. Remember, you’re encouraging them to develop good oral hygiene habits, and giving out candies may move you further away from reaching that goal. 

  • Be A Good Role Model

Children are often curious and would mimic the behavior of adults. They still can’t properly assess which behavior is right or wrong. When they see adults at home behaving in a particular manner, they’ll eventually adopt the same behavior. 

The same applies in your attempt to encourage good oral hygiene habits in kids. You’ll have better chances of succeeding if your children see that you’re also maintaining good oral hygiene at home. 

Instead of merely teaching them the importance of brushing and flossing, make sure they see you brushing and flossing your teeth. When you pay attention to your diet and make healthier food choices, your kids will eventually follow.

Your Time And Effort Matters

Encouraging your kids to adapt to good oral hygiene habits isn’t challenging but this process requires your time and effort. As long as you consistently provide these resources to your kids, it won’t be long before they’ll love caring for their pearly whites.


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