Help your foster children develop positive oral hygiene habits now for a healthier future
About 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. While it might seem difficult to get the children in your care to brush, it doesn’t have to be. Supporting and encouraging your foster child to have healthy dental habits can make a positive difference in their lives and establish healthy habits down the road.
Why it Matters
To some parents, skipping a brushing or flossing here and there might not seem like such a big deal. After all, their baby teeth will fall out, right? While that might be true. Implementing proper dental habits into your foster child’s routine while they’re young can lead to healthy dental habits in their future, preventing heavy dental bills due to rotten teeth, gingivitis, and many other conditions associated with poor oral health.
Make it Fun
Regular tooth brushing and flossing may seem boring, repetitive, and easy to forget for a kid. As a caregiver, you may be looking for ways to encourage healthy habits. Not to mention that as a foster parent, your foster children might not have had much of a dental routine in the past. Luckily, there are many ways to make the habit fun and enjoyable for any child.
In almost any supermarket, you’re sure to find a plethora of products in the oral hygiene aisle geared towards children, such as light-up toothbrushes, flavored toothpaste, and even products with their favorite characters on them. Finding out what flavors and colors appeal most to your foster children will not only help you get to know them, but will also allow you to pick something they’ll like that will be sure to encourage them to brush daily.
Choose a Toothbrush
When it comes to a child’s toothbrush, there are many options available - and not just different colors. Aside from traditional toothbrushes, options include electric, light up, music-playing versions. With so many options available, you’re sure to find one that will encourage any child to get into the bathroom and brush twice a day.
Get Into a Routine
Establishing a routine can be one of the best ways for your child to implement self-care tasks into their day. This can also teach them important time management skills and independence. One way to encourage this is to model good habits, match your routine to theirs so they see if something everyone in the house has to do, not just the children.
Getting a child to brush doesn't have to feel like pulling teeth. With patience and attention to the interests and needs of each child, parents can help establish healthy habits early.