Tips for Praising Your Child’s Good Oral Hygiene Habits

January 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlindasteele @ 9:01 am
a child brushing their teeth

Being a parent isn’t always easy—especially when it comes to ensuring that your child is brushing their teeth often enough! Children are just as susceptible to oral health issues as adults are, meaning that it’s crucial to encourage and establish good hygiene practices from an early age. Keep reading to learn  more from your pediatric dentist about why it’s important to praise your child’s brushing habits and how to ensure that they keep at it!

The Positive Impact of Praise

Everybody appreciates being praised for their efforts—and children are no exception! A recent study published in Child Development analyzed the daily toothbrushing behaviors in three-year-old’s, examining the relationship between their persistence on the task at hand and the amount of parental praise that was received.

The results suggested that the more parents praised their children while they brushed their teeth, the longer they continued to brush! Additionally, as parents provided fewer instructions, children also tended to brush for a longer period of time. Needless to say, more praise equated towards better brushing habits, which ultimately contributes to better oral health.

Tips for Praising Your Child’s Brushing Efforts

You may feel inclined to assist your child with brushing, but allowing them to independently begin and build on the process will help them hone and improve on their brushing skills. That said, you can offer praise and support for your child in the following ways:

  • Supply them with a proper brush – Soft-bristled brushes are ideal, and supplying your little one with a brush shows them that you’re invested in their well-being!
  • Focus on their efforts – It’ll take a little bit of work for your child to get the hang of brushing on their own, so you should encouragethem to keep going and praise their attempts so they remain persistent.
  • Choose the right words – Phrases like “good job” and “you’re doing great” can really motivate your child. There’s no need for critical feedback here; use simple and friendly expressions!
  • Make eye contact and smile – The right look or a warm smile can also provide a great deal of assurance to your child. Plus, showing off your white and healthy smile will give your child a clear image of what they’re working towards.

The bottom line is that encouraging your child to take care of their mouth from an early age will lay down the framework for a lifetime of good oral health!

About the Author

Dr. Linda Steele received her DDS from the Baylor College of Dentistry (now known as the Texas A&M Health Science Center at Dallas School of Dentistry) and is a proud member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. If you have any questions about the article or would like to arrange a visit for your child, feel free to contact Dr. Steele’s practice online or over the phone for assistance: (972) 315-3355.

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