How Parents Can Teach Their Child to Focus on Oral Health


What many people don’t realize is that others have had negative experiences with dealing with doctors, going to the hospital, and the like. These experiences are sometimes why some adults hate doctor appointments, to the point that they avoid them altogether. This is not the route parents want their children to take.

It’s normal for a parent to feel worried about their child’s health, especially when they are not proactive about taking care of theirs. But while it’s still early, it’s the best time to educate them about their health and help them form good habits. All these will equip them in the future and hopefully result in being proactive about their health choices.

Here are simple yet essential pointers on achieving that.

Promotes Good Oral Hygiene

Instilling good oral hygiene early in life encourages good habits that will be beneficial to your child’s oral health. Teaching them the importance of brushing or educating them about oral diseases will enable them to be prompt about their oral care. They will be less likely to suffer from toothaches and cavities in the future. Teaching them early on will equip them with the knowledge to take charge of their own oral health.

Sets a Good Example

Speaking of good habits, learning by example is always the best way. It’s one thing to preach but another to walk the talk. If your child sees you valuing and practicing care towards your teeth, they’ll likely follow too. Plus, it’ll reinforce that taking care of your oral health is the norm. Should they feel any aches or pain, they won’t shy away from consulting you or asking for help.

Prevents the Development of Iatrophobia

Iatrophobia is the fear of doctors. The fear is so severe that it causes individuals with this phobia to have unproportionate anxiety and fear for doctors. They actively postpone or avoid appointments and would rather endure their serious illness than seeking professional treatment. Their ability to seek professional medical help may be hampered by their fear of doctor visits.

Their neediness might be cute now, but they will struggle to see a doctor later in life no matter how critical their condition is. By exposing your child to medical care at an early age through routine checkups and more, doctor visits will be normalized for them.

Prevents the Development of Cavities, Gum Disease, etc.

After all, oral health is still health, too. Routine visits to the dentist are a great preventive measure to the development of issues in the future. Should there be any early signs, the dentist can spot them before things get worse. Tooth decay, commonly known as cavities, is one of the most common oral issues in children. This is most prevalent in children, especially if they strongly prefer sugary drinks and anything sweet. To add, practicing good oral hygiene is something they still need to master.


Additional Pointers

To help you achieve all these for your child, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Be Attentive

It’s natural for children to be curious, thus the never-ending questions. A trip to the dentist is no exception to their curiosity. Take advantage of this and answer their questions while informing them of standard procedures like tooth fillings to porcelain veneer treatments.

Between the exchange, reassure them that a visit to the dentist is essential for every person’s oral health. Debunk any negative notions they bring up to correct them while you can. Negative associations towards dentists or doctors, in general, can affect them negatively in the future. While they’re young, spot these and correct them asap.

  • Be Patient

It’s normal to feel scared of the unknown. Everyone’s been there. Your child will feel uneasy and anxious, especially during the first visit, and that’s okay. Comfort and reassure them what the visit to the dentist is for and how it will make them feel better after. They should have positive associations with going to the dentist’s office. That’s why their first few experiences are crucial. Do your best to be patient and walk them through the process.

  • Be Transparent

It’s a rule of thumb for every patient to be transparent with their doctor. In this case, be transparent to your child’s dentist about their medical history. In some cases, oral health is connected to other health issues. But other than your child’s medical history, brief the dentist about your child’s disposition and how they’re feeling that. Your child being stubborn or anxious about their first visit can help the dentist work with you in making this a positive experience for your child.

With every question you answer and worry reassured, you’re investing in your child’s health. Fostering good perceptions towards professional medical help can prove life-saving in the long run.

A healthy perception towards doctors will help your child become less hesitant setting an appointment on their own someday. This also emphasizes the importance of health and how important it is to be proactive about it.

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