As your child ages, they will eventually start to take care of their own dental hygiene. An important part of encouraging good habits is making sure they’re informed about the benefits of taking care of their teeth. They also need to be made aware of the potential risks of poor care, and this includes cavities.
Cavities can be a frightening concept for young children, so you need to be careful when teaching your kids about them. Here are a few tips to make sure your kids know about cavities and what they can do to prevent them. For more ideas on how to explain dental care to kids, contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.
How to To Educate Your Kids on Cavities
Kids may have a hard time understanding some of the dental jargon relating to cavities, and this confusion can turn into fear. Try explaining them using simpler terms that they can understand.
Tell your kids that in order to enjoy all the foods they love, they need to practice good dental care, too. Explain how brushing their teeth keeps their mouth healthy and can help prevent the formation of tiny holes in their teeth, called cavities. You might also remind them to take extra care of their teeth when they eat sugary and starchy foods.
Let your children know that the cavities hurt, but they can be fixed.
Teach, Don’t Scare
Making your children aware of cavities can help motivate them to take better care of their teeth, but using cavities as a looming threat to frighten your kids can backfire. Using scare tactics to promote good behavior can erode your child’s trust in you and traumatize them.
As a parent, you already know that children are inquisitive. They’re going to have lots of questions about cavities and what happens if you get one. Make sure to answer their questions honestly. If they’re curious, they’re going to find out the truth sometime. It’s better if they find out from you.
Teach your child that taking care of their teeth and avoiding cavities is easy as long as they are consistent. Help them form strong dental care habits with positive reinforcement. Reminding them that they have the power to protect themselves from cavities, and they will be more likely to keep up with their dental hygiene routine.
Here are a few habits you should encourage:
- Flossing once a day
- Brushing twice a day, in the morning and again before bed
- Limit sugary or starchy foods
- Eating tooth-healthy foods
If Your Child Gets a Cavity
Finding out they have cavities can be terrifying for a child, and it is your job as a parent to make the ordeal easier. Let your kids know that some cavities can’t be avoided, no matter how much work you put in. You should also make sure your child knows that you aren’t mad or disappointed with them.
Make sure they are fully prepared for the filling process. Walk them through it step-by-step, working to make it sound less scary. Remind your child that even though the process may seem scary, it won’t be painful, and it will make them feel better.
Choosing a dentist experienced in making difficult procedures easy for kids can also help make the process better for your child. Dr. Elmore of Wilson Pediatric Dentistry gives each of her young patients gentle, compassionate care, making dental visits less scary. Schedule an appointment at our Wilson, North Carolina, office for more friendly pediatric dental care.