It is a new year! And a goal for many people every year is to improve their overall health. Whether you are considering making changes to your weekly workouts, drinking more water, or getting more sleep, one healthy habit everyone should strive for is improving their oral health. No matter our age, it is extremely important for us to brush twice each day, floss once a day, and make those routine dental appointments. As parents it might be hard to manage your kids’ dental habits especially as they get older. On top of that, it might be difficult to manage your own sometimes. In this article, we will discuss a few tips for helping your family stay on top of dental habits this year. And if you live in the Chicago area and need to see a dentist, please give us a call.
Habits are always easier to build when other people know about your goals. Sharing goals with your family for brushing and flossing can help encourage members of your family to stay on top of them from day to day. One great way to do this is to brush and floss together, or to make it part of a daily routine before bed or when getting ready for work and school. Another great option is to have healthy habit charts in the bathroom where kids can note when they brush and floss their teeth. It can even be helpful as parents to put yourselves on those charts. Not only is demonstration a great teaching tool for your kids, but it can even help you stay on top of your oral health. To that point, if you have older kids or teens who are little unsure about using a dental habits calendar or chart, it can help to teach them that by using the chart they are helping set a healthy example for their younger siblings.
Everyone is different, and it can help to experiment with different systems. Some people thrive on a timers, alarms, and set-times that happen every single day. A strict routine can make it easier to stay on top of a habit. Other people might like something like listening to music while they brush their teeth because it makes the habit more fun. Older teens might not want to use a chart but might be more open to using an app that tracks healthy habits. It is important to test different ideas and to not enforce one method for everyone if that method doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes the barrier between a person and a healthy habit can be as simple as not liking the system in place.
One of the biggest issues with picking up and keeping up a habit is disruptions. Breaks from your daily routine, vacations, and trips can all easily cause you and your kids to forget to brush and floss and that can domino into losing a good habit over time. It is important to make sure that you and your family has access to toothbrushes and floss even when you aren’t home to help keep up the healthy habits.
One of the best ways to promote good dental health habits long-term is to see a dentist routinely. Routine dental visits help educate, address concerns, and prevent damage in the future. If you live in the Chicago area and are interested in setting up an appointment please give us a call.