Self-care. It’s been a buzz word for a couple of years now, and understandably so. Especially when it comes to us moms, right?!
There’s good reason for that. We moms are often the last ones on our priority list. Most of our attention tends toward the needs of our husbands, kids, and pets and the obligations of work and school. We often need to be encouraged to carve time out for ourselves to reset and recharge in the midst of full-on momlife.
But as my kids get older, I’m beginning to really appreciate the ways they’re able to care for themselves.
My kids are 7 and 3 now, and though I sometimes miss those baby days I am thoroughly enjoying watching them gain more independence. It’s nice to not have to do every little thing for them and healthy to give them increasing ownership of their own self-care habits.
Self-Care Is Important for Our Kids, Too
When our kids leave the nest, they will need to know how to care for themselves. That includes their physical bodies–their health/wellness, fitness, diet, and hygiene. And oral hygiene is a great place to start!
Here are a few ways we can teach our kids the importance of consistent self-care habits when it comes to their oral health:
1. Start Early
Those early oral health routines are vital to establishing a good foundation for a lifetime of dental health. Because even from the beginning, the priority we place on caring for their little teeth and gums teaches them that oral care is important. When they’re newborns, we can start by practicing gum care. You can do this by wiping the breastmilk or formula off of their gums with a warm washcloth, especially before bed. Don’t let them take bottles to bed (unless they’re water only), and begin brushing that first tooth as soon as it erupts. That’s also a great time to schedule that 1st visit to the dentist!
2. Give Increasing Independence
When they become toddlers they want to do everything by themselves. And we can embrace the opportunity to let them be a little more hands-on! My youngest likes to put the toothpaste on her own toothbrush, brush her teeth, and then rinse her toothbrush when she’s done. She’s very proud of her ability to do things herself, and we are too. That being said, she’s not quite ready to go off on her own when it comes to brushing her teeth. When it’s time to brush, I let her squeeze a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste onto her brush, and give her a minute to brush by herself. Then, I go in with her toothbrush and do little circles along her teeth and gums with her toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. We even sing a song sometimes to make it fun!
3. Schedule Those Routine Visits
Prioritizing regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings helps them learn about the importance of seeing the dentist regularly. It also helps them to not develop fear about going to the dentist as they become more confident with each visit. Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist is committed to providing the exceptional care your child deserves at each and every appointment. Click here to find out why Dr. Bob is the dentist your children will beg to see!
4. Prioritize Your Own Dental Health
There’s no escaping this one, but it’s a win-win! Our kids internalize the habits they see in us. As they see us flossing, brushing, and scheduling our own dental appointments we can demonstrate the importance of oral health and self-care habits more powerfully than anything else. And your future self will thank you for maintaining that beautiful smile.
Go See Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist is conveniently located in South Miami. They are open Monday through Friday, and they would love to help you schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have. They provide a variety of services–routine cleanings, virtually pain-free tongue and lip-tie revisions, conscious sedation, and so much more! You can contact Dr. Bob’s practice via their website or by phone at 305-397-8214 to experience the difference for yourself.
In the meantime, be sure to read about the extensive COVID-19 safety measures they’re taking to make your visit as safe as possible. And in case you missed it, check out this exclusive Q&A with Dr. Bob from our recent Virtual Birthday Bash.